OpinionMeister

Friday, April 22, 2005

9/11 Related Trial Opens in Spain

The Washington Post reports on a trial of two dozen suspected al Qaeda members, including three who are accused of logistical support for the 9/11 attack. Link.
Two weeks before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a Syrian immigrant in Spain received a phone call from London. The caller reported that he had "entered the field of aviation" and that "classes were going well." He added, mysteriously, that "the throat of the bird has been slit."

The call was recorded by Spanish police as part of a long-term investigation into a suspected network of Islamic radicals, but it was weeks before the possible significance of the conversation was understood. Prosecutors here now say they believe "the bird" was a symbolic reference to the American bald eagle and that the caller was sending a message that the Sept. 11 hijackings were ready to proceed.

The wiretap will be a key piece of evidence against the Syrian, Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, and two other men suspected of being al Qaeda members who go on trial in Madrid on Friday after a 3 1/2-year investigation into the use of Spain as a staging ground for the Sept. 11 attacks.

It is important that we learn the details of al Qaeda's logistics, so that we can work on closing it down. Our war against al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups has prevented any major attack on US soil since 9/11, and any information that will help us keep the pressure on them is helpful. While Spain dropped out of the war with Iraqi Baathists and al Qaeda personnel working in Iraq, they have not dropped out of the worldwide war against terrorists. The Madrid bombing let them know that they were a target, and they appear to have done good work in finding Islamic terrorists in Spain.

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