Madrid Train Bombing




 
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Madrid Train Bombing
 
April 30th, 2006  
Corocotta
 
 

Topic: Madrid Train Bombing


Madrid Train Bombing
On March 11, 2004, four trains coming into Madrid were attacked , three days before the general elections, scheduled for Sunday, March 14. In total, ten explosions occurred in ten different carriages. One hundred and ninety-two people were killed and over 1500 were wounded.


The police specialized in explosive detection and deactivation, TEDAX, inspected the four trains and found two additional bombs in two different trains , installed in backpacks. While attempting to deactivate them, the two bombs exploded. All the trains were inspected twice by the TEDAX and no additional bombs were found. In the words of the Madrid provincial head of the TEDAX, the sheared metal due to the high velocity explosion in the attacked trains suggested that military explosives, such as C3 or C4 (Semtex) had been used.
The same day of the attacks, the doorman of an apartment building close to the train station in Alcala, a town 35 km east of Madrid, informed the police that he had seen earlier that morning, around 7 a.m., three young men acting suspiciously by a van parked in front of the building where he worked. The police opened the back door of the van and twice dogs trained in the detection of explosives entered the van looking for explosives. Neither dog detected any explosives and the van was towed away to the police headquarters in Canillas, Madrid.


Upon arrival at the police headquarters, the van was inspected again. This time, around 2 p.m., the police found a bag containing detonators and a small amount of explosives, as well as a cassette in Arabic with some Koranic content. Up to that moment, public opinion in Spain was that the author of the attacks was ETA, the Basque terrorist group. But, as the media immediately pointed out, the detonators were different from those normally used by ETA and the Koran cassette suggested a potential Islamic link to the attacks. Subsequent analysis and inspection of the van revealed no fingerprints or DNA present in the vehicle. Some DNA, however, was found in loose pieces of clothing also discovered in the trunk of the van at the Canillas police headquarters.


The morgue for the victims of the attacks was set up at the Madrid fairgrounds (IFEMA). A team of forensic experts conducted the autopsies there and the families of the victims also went there to identify their relatives and their personal belongings. The personal effects collected in the four trains, which had been placed in closed bags in the custody of the police, were transported to IFEMA by judicial order. However, the personal effects of the victims from one of the trains where an additional bomb had been discovered and set off by the TEDAX while trying to deactivate it (El Pozo station) were taken instead to the Puente de Vallecas Police Station. Some of the bags containing personal effects collected at El Pozo station were first taken to IFEMA for a few hours and then transported again to the Puente de Vallecas Police Station, disregarding the judiciary order to bring all personal belongings found in the train to IFEMA. That night, at approximately 2:40 AM as indicated in the parts of the judiciary investigation which have become known to the public, when the police at the Puente de Vallecas station where conducting an inventory of the contents of the bags, a policewoman found another bomb installed in a sports bag. This bomb was successfully deactivated, according to the information released at the time. It contained dynamite manufactured in Spain (GOMA-2 ECO), screws to serve as shrapnel and a mobile phone to set it off. The weight of the travel bag containing the bomb was over 11 kg. The type of dynamite found in this bag seemed to indicate that ETA was not involved in the attacks, as the media informed that this domestic terrorist group had only used titadyne, a different type of dynamite, in the last years. Subsequent analysis of the mobile phone led to the arrest one day later, in the afternoon of March 13, of two Indian Hindus and three Moroccan subjects.

The media reported that an Al-Qaeda cell was responsible for the attacks.

The implication for the electorate was that this attack was a retaliation for the support of Spain´s conservative government for the U.S. led invasion of Irak. From the day of the attack until the polling booths closed on March 14th, the Socialist opposition party (PSOE) accused the government of having concealed the Islamic authorship of the attack so as not to lose votes for having pursued a policy which led to the massacre. The timely arrest of the supposed Islamic terrorist on the eve of the election sealed the Conservative party´s fate as they proceeded to lose and election which they had been widely expected to win.
In the following days other Muslim individuals were arrested. The dynamite contained in the deactivated bomb led to an explosive smuggling ring operating in Asturias, in the north of Spain, out of a mine (Mina Conchita). Spanish individuals were identified as having sold the explosives to the Muslim terrorists.


On April 3, the police surrounded an apartment building in Leganes, 20 km south of Madrid. Reportedly after several hours of heavy exchange of gunfire between the surrounded terrorists and the police, and once that building and those in the immediate neighborhood had been evacuated, the special police force GEO tried to enter the apartment. Then the apartment exploded, killing all seven terrorists and one member of the police force. The media informed that the terrorists had committed suicide.





I continue in the next post (too long)
April 30th, 2006  
Corocotta
 
 
Second part:


Months later, in June 2004, a car was found parked near the train station in Alcalá, approximately 20 m away from the spot where the van originally identified as having been used by the terrorists on March 11 had been parked the day of the attacks. This car was completely clean of fingerprints and DNA, but contained some clothes (a glove, a scarf) where DNA of one of the Leganes suicides was identified, Allekema Lamari, an Algerian with connections to the GIA and the Spanish Secret Services. This car was also presumed to have been used by the terrorists on March 11 to drive to the Alcala station prior to boarding the trains to plant the bombs.

A few independent media (El Mundo: Fernando Mugica and Casimiro Garcia Abadillo; Libertad Digital: Luis del Pino [1]) have investigated these events. The investigation has shown the following facts:
  • The bomb found inside a travel bag at the Puente de Vallecas police station had been X-rayed prior to the attempt to deactivate it. The X-ray showed that two cables in the circuitry of the bomb where not attached and therefore the bomb could never explode. The judge investigating the case was not informed of this fact until mid 2005. This bomb contained shrapnel. No shrapnel was found in the autopsies of the victims of the attacks. The police inspector in charge of collecting the personal effects from El Pozo station, where the deactivated bomb inside the travel bag was supposedly collected, could not recognize the bag when the judge showed it to him as any of the personal effects collected at the station. Only five bullet casings were collected by the police after the explosion of the Leganes building, while the media had informed of hours of heavy exchange of gunfire between the police and the terrorists. Two of the terrorists were found with a belt of explosives around their waists, unexploded because they were not provided with detonators. Another of the terrorists was found with his pants inside out. This uncomfortable way of dressing must have hindered his movements during the long hours of the police siege of the building. All the terrorists involved and the Spanish smugglers of explosives were confidantes of the police or the Spanish Secret Services. Some had been wiretapped in the months leading up to the attacks or even weeks after the attacks. Two of the alleged Muslim terrorists visited police stations in Madrid days before the attacks. The car found in June 2004, where Allekema Lamari's DNA was found in loose clothes, was not parked by the Alcala train station on March 11, the day of the attacks, as none of the pictures taken that day show its presence. With the exception of Lamari, all the Muslims involved were petty criminals mostly involved in small time drug deals.
  • No fingerprints or DNA of the alleged terrorists has been found in any of the vehicles supposedly used in the attacks but rather on loose pieces of clothing inside those vehicles. Also, no fingerprints or DNA of any kind were found in the travel bag containing the bomb discovered in the Puente de Vallecas police station in the early hours of March 12.
Two years after these tragic events, we are told that a "Spanish intelligence chief" and a "Western official intimately involved in counterterrorism measures in Spain" state that the attacks were carried out by a homegrown Islamic cell with no links to Al-Qaeda. Perhaps it was indeed a homegrown cell but, was it Islamic? That attribution of the attacks to ¨Islamic¨ terrorists, using questionable evidence, just before the Spanish general elections of March 14 gave an unexpected victory to the Socialist Party, which in turn immediatetly announced that it would withdraw Spanish troops from Irak. Could there be a domestic political component to the Madrid train bombings of March 11 th? The refusal of the current Socialist government of Spain to support a full and thorough investigation of elements of the attacks different from those of the ¨official Islamic Retaliation¨ version established immediately before the elections raises serious questions which cannot be left unanswered.
[1]www.elmundo.es; www.libertaddigital.com/bitacora/enigmas11m
April 30th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
Truly a tangled web.
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Madrid Train Bombing
April 30th, 2006  
Corocotta
 
 
The web is going to be un-tangled soon, there are a lot of people investigating, and then something big is gonna happen.
April 30th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
I trust you shall keep us informed.
April 30th, 2006  
Corocotta
 
 
Of course I will keep you informed. We think that it is important that the international public opinion knows about the black holes in the investigation.

I would like to make you a question guys. I guess that here might be someone specialized in explosives. If you see this kind of damage:




What is the first thing you think: Dynamite or militar explosives C3 / C4 (Semtex)
May 1st, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
I think that it would be determined by the residue found at the blast site. We've got EOD guys here who I'm sure will help out with more detail.
May 1st, 2006  
Missileer
 
 
C4 can be bought cheaply, is easily concealed and safe to handle. It is also most definitely more bang for the buck.
May 1st, 2006  
Corocotta
 
 
Thanks, but acording to the damage in the train,which explosive would you say that did it? I heard that dynamite and C3/C4 produce a different damage...

Bulldog, after the attack the trains were destroyed and no investigation was done to the trains.
May 1st, 2006  
phoenix80
 
 
I was somewhere in middle of the persian gulf when this horrible thing happened!