Railway bombers: Withdraw Spanish troops or 'blood will flow like rivers'

The group that claimed responsibility for the Madrid trains bombings has sent a fax threatening more attacks that will "make blood flow like rivers in Spain". Al-Qa'ida's European wing, Ansar al-Qa'ida, demanded Spain withdraw its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and stopped supporting the United States and its allies.</p>"If these demands are not met," the fax said, "we will declare war on you and we swear on ... Allah that we will convert your country in an inferno and we will make your blood flow like rivers." It said it had showed its force with the "blessed attacks of 11 March" and the planting of a bomb along the high-speed railway line linking Madrid and Seville last week which failed to explode.</p>The fax, sent to the ABC</i> newspaper on Saturday night, gave Spain until midday on Sunday to comply. ABC</i> said the letter was handwritten in Arabic and signed "Abu Dujana Al Afgani, Ansar Group, Al-Qaida in Europe". A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said: "In principle, the letter is given certain credibility, although the analysis is not yet complete. We believe it could have been sent by people directly involved in recent events."</p>The incoming Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has already pledged to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq by June, but has promised to strengthen the Spanish contingent in Afghanistan. After a weekend siege in the Madrid suburb of Leganes in which some of the suspected train bombers blew themselves up, several of their accomplices remain at large.</p>Police are still searching for Mohammed Oulad and his brother Rachid and for Said Berraj. Judge Juan del Olmo added three more names to the search and capture warrant: Amer el-Aziz, Sanel Sjekirica and Rabei Osman Ahmed. </p>"There could have been a series of Holy Week bombings, probably starting this weekend," a source close to the investigation said. Police said they arrested one more man on Saturday in connection with the 11 March bombings, bringing the total in custody to 16.</p>The Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said that he would deploy police officers to assist the private security guards patrolling the city's metro lines. "Guaranteeing the safety of public transport is an absolute priority right now," the mayor said. </p>Spain's Interior Ministry said police believed there were five people in the flat at Leganes when it exploded. The forensics team last night found evidence of a sixth person. The leading suspects in the bombing, Sarhane ben Abdelmajid Fahket, a Tunisian, Jamal Ahmidan and Abdennabi Kounjaa, from Morocco, and Asri Rifat Anoua were killed in the blast.</p>"The core of the group that carried out the [11 March] attacks is either arrested or dead in yesterday's collective suicide, including the head of the operative commando unit," Mr Acebes said.</p>Forensic scientists were continuing to examine body parts in an attempt to to confirm the identities of the other two. The process was said to be difficult because of the severe mutilations. The Interior Ministry confirmed that the explosion involved between 15 and 20kg of plastic explosives. The police forensic science team checking the building had to evacuate the premises twice yesterday after officers discovered new caches of explosives. </p>Spaniards observed five minutes of silence at midday yesterday to honour the special police agent who was killed in the blast. A peace demonstration was due to be held in Madrid last night.</p>
Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas