ABC News appears to be the only MSM outlet covering this follow-up story to the Barcelona would-be bombers. Admittedly, I used only Google’s news search, their web search, and a few news aggregators. Maybe our Spanish-speaking readers have more information:
The attorney general in Spain said today [January 25] that there are three cell members they are urgently searching for and that the missing members could be suicidal terrorists with a mission to attack somewhere outside of Spain.
The cell members are Spanish residents, including both nationals and foreigners. They are believed to have recently traveled to Spain from Waziristan, Pakistan, an area known as a hotbed for al Qaeda training and Taliban resurgence.
These three escaped Spain’s dragnet that captured fourteen men who were caught with their bomber pants down, and all the explosives as yet unassembled. Those successfully captured were the usual suspects:
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The men were of Pakistani, Indian and other ethnic backgrounds. Many appear to be legal residents of Spain, but some of the suspects’ legal statuses are still unknown. One of the men arrested, Maroof Ahmaed Mirza, is described as an Imam, a legal resident of Spain and a Pakistani national.
Since we’re talking about the EU super-state’s borderless country, it wouldn’t be a problem for the three who eluded what Spanish police called Operation Cantata (evidently the notion of informers “singing” carries over into other languages).
If the suicide bombers who eluded them are legal residents of Spain, they can go anywhere in Europe.
These fellows — the ones captured and the ones who got away — appear to have trained and planned in Pakistan under the aegis of al Qaeda. It seems the captured terrorists (twelve Pakistanis, including an imam, and two Indians) hadn’t been long in Spain when the plot unraveled:
Spain’s Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the group was actively preparing an attack and not just recruiting or financing.
“Here we are looking at something different: a well-organized group who were going beyond ideological radicalism to acquiring materials to make explosives and therefore eventually to carry out violent attacks…”
Well, the attacks, presumably a repeat of the first train bombing that bought Spain’s hasty retreat in 2004 from the allies in the Iraq war, were to have been timed to coincide with Pakistan’s presidential visit. Musharraf is visiting Spain and to other EU countries, seeking any support that isn’t American.
Musharraf’s European mission was an attempt to convince them that Pakistan is a “reliable ally.” He certainly needs as many in his corner as possible, considering the fact that U.S. support is so unwelcome by many Pakistani citizens.
Here is some prime dissembling during the London part of Musharraf’s tour. He was speaking to the Royal United Services Institute. Someone asked him why he hasn’t permitted American assistance in the badlands of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan:
“They [the Americans] have their hands full in Afghanistan, they need more force in Afghanistan,” said President Musharraf. “I can’t imagine their coming to Pakistan. They will dilute in Afghanistan so please handle Afghanistan first of all.”
What a thoughtful guy. No need at all to allow the busy US military into areas of Pakistan that border Afghanistan. What if they managed thereby to grab bin Laden? Al-Qaeda would have Musharraf’s head on a platter in a homicidal bomber’s heartbeat.
No sooner had these political weasel words passed his lips than the US SecDef begged to differ:
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the United States would be willing to send troops into parts of Pakistan for joint operations against al Qaida.
There you go. And then, after the US made incursions into Pakistan, everyone would have to take the day off to attend Musharraf’s funeral, an event he does not wish to attend himself.
So Spain foiled another train bombing.
Meanwhile, three homicidal maniacs are loose in the borderless EU. I think they went to Londonistan. What’s your guess?