Monday, November 12, 2007

Hechos Probados....The Vallecas Bomb

Articles and possessions recovered from the trains where bombs exploded were placed inside large rubbish bags, which were then closed or sealed prior to being taken elsewhere for an inventory of the contents. Amongst the objects recovered from the station of El Pozo there was an explosive device contained in a sea blue sports bag. On the afternoon of the bombings two police vans arrived at this station to collect those possessions which had been recovered from the train. Their initial instructions were to take these belongings to the police station of Villa de Vallecas in Madrid. Arriving at this destination, the officer in charge at the station refused to take charge of the cargo, so the vans then headed towards the nearby police station of Puente de Vallecas. On arrival at this station they were then ordered to take the vans and their contents to the IFEMA exhibition centre, which was being used as an emergency morgue and reception centre. At IFEMA the bags were unloaded and deposited in one of the pavilions together with a notice indicating where they had come from. The bags remained under the custody of a police unit.

The same afternoon, the commanding officer at Puente de Vallecas was informed that one of the judges dealing with the consequences of the bombings had issued an instruction that these personal belongings should be stored at Puente de Vallecas and not at IFEMA. So once again the bags were loaded into police vehicles and taken back to this police station. Once there, four officers proceeded with an inventory of the contents of the bags. At approximately 1:30 a.m. one of these officers opened the bag containing the unexploded device and noticed a mobile telephone with cables attached to it. The alarm was raised with bomb disposal specialists being called for, and the police station was evacuated.

The specialists who arrived carried out an initial inspection of the device and decided to take it to the nearby Azorín Park to deactivate with the minimum risk. Once at the park they carried out x-rays of the device but without these providing sufficient information for a secure deactivation. Eventually they managed to deactivate the device and found that it had a Mitsubishi Trium telephone as the timer connected to a copper detonator which had been inserted in slightly more than ten kilos of dynamite. The bag also contained 640 grams of nails and screws to act as shrapnel, and a telephone charger suitable for the Trium. Subsequent laboratory examination revealed that the device did not explode because one of the cables exiting the telephone was not connected properly. The device was identical in its structure and design to those found in the train at Atocha station and the other unexploded device found at El Pozo; both of which were destroyed as part of the deactivation attempts.

The detonator was of an industrial variety and was manufactured by the Spanish company UEB. The telephone used as a timer contained a card from the company AMENA-AUNA with the assigned number 652282963. The alarm on the telephone was programmed for 7:40 a.m. From the identification of the telephone it was clear that the case of the phone had been substituted at some point by another from a telephone of the same kind.

Footnote: Another crucial piece of evidence accepted in full by the court. The only unexploded device which was recovered fully intact, the telephone and its card provided the lead that led to the arrest of Jamal Zougam. The explosive confirmed the use of Goma 2 Eco dynamite in the bombs, together with another detonator that matched those found in the Renault Kangoo van. Hardly surprising then, that those determined to create maximum confusion about the bombings have insisted that the bomb was never on the trains, and that it was planted at some point during the long journey that the bags from El Pozo took that day.

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