islam cannot be placated

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    UPDATE 2-Spain arrests 8th person in suspected bomb plot
    03:58, Wednesday, 20 October 2004

    (Adds detainee in Switzerland, re-arrests, paragraphs 9-11)

    By Estelle Shirbon

    MADRID, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Spanish police on Tuesday
    arrested an eighth suspected member of a radical Islamic cell
    believed to be plotting an attack on the High Court in Madrid.

    Calling the operation preventive, police made the arrest a
    day after seizing seven suspected Islamic militants in raids
    across Spain, seven months after train bombings by Islamic
    militants killed 191 people in Madrid.

    "They were talking about an attack on the High Court or
    another judicial body but police are not ruling out other
    possible targets," Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso told
    reporters.

    Police found no weapons or explosives during the raids but
    said they confiscated books on how to become a "martyr" from one
    of the suspects.

    The High Court handles cases of terrorism and is where the
    suspected Madrid train bombers are under investigation. El Mundo
    newspaper, without citing sources, said the suspects intended to
    drive a truck with 500 kg of explosives into the courthouse.

    Investigators had not found evidence of direct contacts
    between the suspects arrested on Monday and Tuesday and the
    train bombing suspects, daily newspaper ABC said, citing police
    sources.

    The presumed leader of the latest suspects is an Algerian
    man who was arrested a few days ago in Switzerland, news agency
    Europa Press said, amending an earlier story saying he had been
    arrested last year.

    The man was arrested at Spain's request and has links with
    the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) fighting the government in
    Algeria, Europa Press said.

    An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said she had no information
    about the report but a police source said: "There is a detainee
    in Switzerland who could be linked to those arrested (on
    Monday)".

    The arrests were part of a High Court judge's investigation
    into a violent Islamic network operating in Spain.

    As part of the probe, police had also re-arrested an unspecified number of prisoners already serving jail terms for
    offences not connected to militancy, police sources said.

    Of the eight suspects arrested on Monday and early on
    Tuesday, four are Algerian, one Moroccan and one is from Spain's
    North African enclave Ceuta. The other two were of unknown
    citizenship.

    They were resident in Spain and most had served time in
    prison. They were in contact with other individuals in Europe,
    the United States and Australia, the Interior Ministry said.

    One of the men arrested was an informer for Spain's
    intelligence service, El Pais newspaper reported.
    ((Editing by Janet Lawrence; +34 91 585 2158; fax +34 91 435
    966; email: [email protected];
    [email protected]))



    (c) Reuters Limited 2004
    REUTER NEWS SERVICE
 
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