Madrid blasts: Indians among those arrested

Spain has arrested 3 Moroccans and 2 Indians in connection with the Madrid blasts.

The Basque terrorists were the initial suspects, but it now appears that al-Qaeda related Islamic terrorists may have played a role in this bombing. In contrast to its older style, a self-proclaimed al Qaeda affiliate has actually claimed responsibility for the blasts.

What I’d like to know is who those Indians are? Abu Salem, one of the key accused in the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts was arrested in neighbouring Portugal last year. So it is possible that either the Dawood Ibrahim mob or another jehadi outfit has provided assistance to the bombers. Then there are those wheeler-dealers just out to make a quick buck who could be involved.

India should extend its cooperation to Spain and get to the bottom of this affair.

Aside: Pakistan’s newspaper, The News headline says “Blasts: Spain arrests three Moroccans, two Hindus“. Now, no other source confirms the religion of the Indians concerned, so it really must be a piece of investigative conjecturing journalism.

Endpiece: I was impressed by the Spanish people’s reaction to the bombings. Millions of people out in the streets demonstrating their contempt and defiance of the terrorists. Bravo.

Update: AP reports (via Jihad Watch) that the Spanish interior ministry identified the two of the suspects as Vinay Kohly and Suresh Kumar (who are Spaniards of Indian origin, not Indian nationals). Going by the names, it looks like The News got its headline right !

However, Abiola thinks the terrorists won

Those who carried out the outrage in Madrid played their cards just right. The sad thing for the Spaniards is that this show of weakness on their part will only encourage more of the very same violence, now that Spain has been shown to be the soft underbelly of Europe. Cowering in one’s territory and forsaking one’s allies for fear of offending islamic fundamentalists is no way of going about things. Faced with a choice between shame and war, the Spanish seem to have chosen shame, but they’ll get war anyway [Foreign Dispatches]

4 thoughts on “Madrid blasts: Indians among those arrested”

  1. Early indications are that some of the Indians merely sold the cell phones. The others may have been involved, of course.

    The timing of the Al Qaeda videotape claiming of responsibility is fascinating. It seems like Al Qaeda is trying to tip the election in Madrid to the candidate who’s weaker on terrorism. There’s a 10% margin between leading candidate, who’s pro-U.S., pro-Iraq war, and the Socialist candidate; the election is today, Sunday.

  2. The Mid-Day (newspaper in Mumbai) is carrying on its front page the screaming headlines “Two HINDUS Arrested for Spanish Blasts.” I suppose the newspapers get tired of reporting “Dog bites man” and people stop bothering. So when it is vaguely suspected that there is a slight possibility that it is rumored that allegedly a man may have bitten what appeared to be a dog in a remote village someone may have visited, the newspapers jump at the chance of being able to print the headlines “MAN Bites Dog” so as to sell more papers. Reporting that yet another bunch of terrorists suspects have been caught and half of them have “mohammed” in their names gets boring. It is news when a non-Muslim is among those suspected.

  3. Um.. what exactly impressed you about the Spanish people’s response to the event?
    From what I heard, they held demonstrations not against the terrorists, but against their leader for joining the war against Iraq and bringing on the attacks on the country. They then proceeded to chuck out Aznar from power for the same reasons.

    Whether you consider the attack on Iraq good policy or not, calling on your government to be a coward when a bunch of thugs have attacked you is not exactly creditable behaviour.

  4. Ravikiran,

    My comments referred to the millions (including Aznar) who came out onto the streets to protest against the bombings.

    The situation changed rapidly into an anti-Aznar protest.

    I think it is impressive for the people to come out in force just one day after a major terrorist strike – we’ve had such strikes in several cities now, but nowhere have ordinary folk shown the guts to come out on to the streets and show their resolve.

    I’ve posted my comment on the electoral implications of the Madrid bombings today
    http://www.acorn.nationalinterest.in/archives/2004_03.html#000469

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