Spanish police are tonight questioning a number of suspected Muslim extremists. They were picked up in raids in Catalonia, Madrid and Andalucia. The eight people arrested are all of Moroccan origin, and believed to be linked to the Madrid train bombings. The Spanish authorities say they have dismantled an Islamic terrorist cell supporting al-Qaeda members.
Spain’s Minister of the Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, said: “The people arrested are suspected of having covered for, and helped escape, five of those implicated in the 2004 bombings in Madrid.”
The coordinated raids were directed by Judge Baltasar Garzon, in charge of Spain’s anti-terror tribunal. Numerous police operations in recent months across Spain have seen nearly two dozen suspected terrorists arrested. The convicted train bombers received sentences of up to 40,000 years in prison. 191 people died in the bombings. Nearly 2000 were injured.