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Tunisian, Five Moroccans Sought For Terrorist Bombings In Spain

By Dale Fuchs

The New York Times -- MADRID

Investigators have identified a Tunisian man as the leader of the March 11 bomb attacks on commuter trains in Madrid, and a judge has issued arrest warrants for him and five Moroccans for murder, according to court documents released Thursday.

A Spanish High Court judge, Juan del Olmo, issued a European arrest warrant for Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet as the “leader and coordinator” of the bombings that killed 191 people and injured more than 1,400.

The warrant said Fakhet “raised awareness of jihad” within his circle, and “indicated specifically since 2003 that he was preparing a violent act in Spain as an expression of the aforementioned jihad.”

Del Olmo issued five other European arrest warrants: Mohammed Oulad Akcha, Rachid Oulad Akcha, Jamal Ahmidam, Said Berraj and Abdennabi Kounjaa, all of whom are Moroccans. They have been charged with hundreds of counts that include murder, attempted murder and membership in a terrorist organization.

On Tuesday, Angel Acebes, the outgoing interior minister, said the investigation is focusing on the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which authorities have linked to bombings last year in Casablanca that killed more than 40 people, including 12 suicide bombers.

According to the court documents, Ahmidam rented a house outside Madrid where the authorities say fingerprints, traces of explosives and other evidence in the March 11 attacks was found. The warrants identified the rundown house, in the town of Morata de Tajuna, as the site where bombs were made.

The court documents said Berraj is linked to Fakhet, the suspected Tunisian leader, and is also believed to have met in Istanbul in October with three members of al-Qaida. The other three men are thought to have stayed at the house with Ahmidam and to have helped obtain the explosives used in the bombings.