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
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

£26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Development Manager - North Kent - OTE £19K

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea