Battling Al Qaeda in Europe

A policeman searches around the body of one of the suspects found in a swimming pool. The alleged mastermind of the March 11 Madrid train bombings was among five suspects who blew themselves up during a police stakeout in a suburb of the Spanish capital.

Pedro Armestre / AFP

In a bold move to capture terrorists that were hiding out after plotting and executing the deaths of nearly 200 Spanish citizens, Spanish anti-terror units discovered their hide out and prepared to storm the apartment building. When the terrorists realized they were surrounded by Spanish Special Forces they panicked and blew themselves up.

Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, a Tunisian, was among the dead and reportedly was the organizer of the 3-11-04 terror attacks that killed innocent people on morning commuter trains.

Videotapes released by radical Islamic leaders have shown they believe that they can take over the world and rule it like the Taliban did for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. An Islamic leader(pre -9-11) in London declared in frenzied speech, we will use terror anywhere in the world and “our message will be seen” in increments at a time around the globe, as a poster of a giant boot over the world was displayed in the background. Several terrorist plots were thwarted on and immediately after 9-11 around the globe, due to fast working leaders and their governments.

In the first battle with an al Qaeda linked Islamic group in a prominent European capital, at least 4 terror suspects were surprised and killed. Witnesses report that when the suspects realized they were surrounded by Spanish Special Forces they started screaming in Arabic. Officials believe the explosives used by the suspects on 3-11-04 in the Madrid railway bombings were the same type that killed them during the raid.

One Spanish police officer was killed and 15 were wounded. The bombers were holed up in an apartment building in Leganes suburb of SW Madrid. The anti-terror task force had the area cordoned off and 40 apartments were evacuated prior to storming the terrorist hide out building.

Firefighters in a crane, examine the damage after three suspected terrorists who were sought in connection with March 11 Madrid bombings, blew themselves up in a building that was surrounded by police in Legenes, near Madrid, Spain, Saturday, April 3, 2004. One special forces agent was killed and 11 police officers were injured in the operation. The fete of the suspects is unknown at this time.

Paul White / AP Photo

The Spanish interior minister reported one terrorist might have escaped before the area was sealed off.

Several terror suspects have been arrested and 11 of the 15 detained are Moroccans. They claim to be with the al Qaeda-linked, Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group.

The Spanish army and helicopter units have been guarding railways after discovering another bomb Friday on a high-speed Madrid-Seville railway track.

The FBI last week warned local authorities of “uncorroborated” summertime threats to metro transportation systems near major US cities. Terrorists may use many devices, including a backpack or other small luggage to fill with explosives. Citizens and authorities are asked to be aware of suspicious behavior and activities.

First Terrorist Bomb-Belts Reach Europe

DEBKAfile Special Report

4 April – Serhane ben Abdelmajid Farkhet, 35, alias “The Tunisian”, suspected ringleader of the Madrid train bombings, was one of the terrorists who blew themselves up Saturday night in the southwestern Madrid suburb of Leganes when Spanish police closed in on their hideout. Spanish interior minister Angel Acebes said it is impossible to establish how many al Qaeda suspects were holed up in the building. They began shooting from a window at police approaching the apartment building. Special police agents prepared to storm the building when the terrorists set off a powerful explosion with several bomb belts shouting God is great in Arabic. One policeman was killed and 15 injured. Some of the suspects may have escaped under cover of the blast or before the police closed the net around the building.

Also found in the damaged apartment building were additional explosive devices and 200 detonators.

Forty apartments were evacuated and the area sealed off. Three of the terror suspects who committed suicide have been identified, but the possibility of more having taken part in the group suicide has not been ruled out. Spanish radio reported Jamal Ahmidan, 33, was among the dead. He was named in one of the six arrest warrants issued in the March 11 train bombings investigation.

This was the first time terrorists are known to have used bomb belts in Europe, also the first battle with al Qaeda to take place on the continent.

Spanish police are already holding 15 suspects in connection with the attack on the commuter trains last month. Six have been charged with mass murder and nine with collaborating with a terrorist organization. Eleven are members of the al Qaeda-linked Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group.

Friday, April 2, Spain went on terror alert after a bomb was found on the Madrid-Seville high speed rail track near Toledo 10 km south of capital. The device was connected to a detonator with a 130 m cable. The Spanish army and helicopters are now guarding Spanish railway lines.

Palestinian Boy Wearing Explosive Belt Caught

(IFM) A 12-year-old Palestinian boy wearing an explosive belt was caught today by Israel Defense Forces paratroopers at the Hawara roadblock south of Nablus in the West Bank, HA’ARETZ reported. Sappers detonated the device in a controlled explosion and took the boy in for questioning. The army believes that the boy was meant to detonate the belt near the soldiers or the nearby army base. "This is another horrific example of how the Palestinians use their own children to spread terror against Israelis," David Baker, an official in the prime minister’s office, said. "These children are turned into human time-bombs for the purpose of spreading as much terror against Israelis as possible," Baker added. Just last week, soldiers found an explosive charge on a cart pushed by a 10-year-old Palestinian boy at the same roadblock.

In other news, IDF preventive operations in Gaza’s Khan Yunis were completed successfully this morning. Infantry and engineering units entered Khan Yunis after working all night to prevent Palestinians from firing any Kassam rockets or mortar shells.

Last night, a terror attempt against the Jewish community of Morag in the Gaza Strip was foiled. The IDF spotted terrorists crawling near the fence and opened fire. A search of the area turned up two bodies of terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms. A bulletproof vest and two Kalashnikov rifles were found on their bodies.