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Judge jails Madrid blast suspect

From Al Goodman
CNN Madrid Bureau Chief

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Madrid bombing suspects, clockwise from top left: Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, Said Berraj, Jamal Ahmidan, Rachid Oulad Akcha, Abdennabi Kounjaa and Mohammed Oulad Akcha

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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge has sent a Moroccan to jail and released two Syrians and a Spaniard who had been detained in connection with the Madrid train bombings last month.

National Court Judge Juan del Olmo also Friday freed another Moroccan but ordered him to report daily to police, a court spokeswoman said.

The jailed Moroccan, Otman el Gnaout, was charged with belonging to or collaborating with a terrorist organization -- bringing to 15 the number of people charged in connection with the deadly attacks.

The other Moroccan was identified as Fouad El Morabit. He has now been arrested twice in the Madrid bombing case and set free twice.

This time, he was ordered him to report daily to court authorities or the police because he remains of interest in the case even though he has not been charged, the court spokeswoman said.

El Morabit was arrested March 25 but set free early Tuesday without charges, only to be re-arrested hours later that day.

Court officials said he studied aeronautical engineering and radio electronics in Madrid and Germany and shared a flat with a Syrian man, Basel Ghayoun, who has been charged in the bombing case.

The Syrians released without charges were identified as Walid Altarakji Almasri and Mohamad Badr Ddin Al Akkad.

The Spanish man, who earlier this week was not charged but was ordered held over in jail pending further investigation, is the brother-in-law of the only Spaniard charged in the case.

Of the 15 who been charged, 11 are Moroccans -- including a woman. In addition to the Moroccans, the Spaniard and the Syrian, the judge has charged two men born in India.

International warrants

The court also has issued international arrest warrants for five Moroccan men and a Tunisian man.

Police said the latter is considered to be a "coordinator" of the attacks on March 11 that killed 190 people and wounded more than 1,800.

Police say the latter is considered to be a "coordinator" of the attacks on March 11 that killed 190 people and wounded more than 1,400.

The six are wanted for murder, belonging to an Islamic terrorist group and causing terrorist damage to the trains that were bombed.

The warrant says the Tunisian, identified as Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, 35, made "statements since at least mid-2003 about the preparation of a violent attack in Spain, specifically the Madrid area, as an expression of jihad."

Fakhet was described in the warrant as "the dynamic element of the prior activity of indoctrinating (others) in jihad."

Another key figure among the six, court documents indicate, is Jamal Ahmidan.

The warrants say Ahmidan rented a rural dwelling, in the locale of Morata de Tajuna east of Madrid, where authorities believe the bombs were prepared.

Ahmidan made the rental using a forged Belgian passport under the name of Youssef Ben Salah, and Fakhet helped Ahmidan undertake the rental, the warrants allege.

Three of the other Moroccans sought also apparently used the rural dwelling, the warrants say.

They were identified as Mohamed Oulad Akcha, 28, his brother Rachid Oulad Akcha, 33, and Abdennabi Kounjaa, who is in his late 20s.

Ahmidan and the two Akcha brothers allegedly were among the suspects who were involved in obtaining the explosives and making the bombs used in the attacks, the warrants say.

The sixth man named in the warrants, Moroccan Said Berraj, 31, is allegedly linked to al Qaeda through an October 2000 meeting in Istanbul that was attended by three other al Qaeda suspects.

Berraj is also linked to Fakhet, the Tunisian, and a Syrian man, Basel Ghalyoun, who is already charged in the case with 190 counts of murder and with belonging to a terrorist group.


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