madrid train bomb 224.88.
(photo credit: AP)
A Spanish judge on Tuesday handed down the first indictments in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, charging 29 people with murder, terrorism and other crimes after a two-year probe.
The commuter train bombings, claimed by Muslim terrorists, killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,700.
The charges were contained in a 1,500-page indictment handed down by Juan del Olmo, an investigating magistrate at the National Court, Spain's hub for investigating terrorism.
Six lead suspects among the 29 men were charged with 191 counts of murder and 1,755 counts of attempted murder. They include Jamal Zougam, a Moroccan who allegedly supplied cell phones used as detonators in the 10 backpack bombs that exploded on four crowded commuter trains on the morning of March 11, 2004.
Five of the top suspects are also charged with belonging to a terrorist organization, while nine other men are accused of collaborating with a terrorist organization.
The bombings were Spain's worst terrorist attack.
Shortly after the attacks, Islamic terrorists claimed responsibility on behalf of al-Qaida, saying they had acted to avenge the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq, dispatched in 2003 by the pro-US government in power at the time. Socialists elected three days after the attacks quickly fulfilled an election campaign promise and brought the troops home.
However, a senior Spanish intelligence official and a Western one closely involved in counterterrorism measures told The Associated Press last month that there was no evidence the cell had any contact with or received any logistical or financial help from Osama bin Laden's terror network.