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Engineer charged on rocket plans

By CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge has jailed a Palestinian-born Spanish engineer who allegedly faxed rocket designs to Palestinian militants, officials say.

Marwan Ismail Dahman, 51, was arrested last Friday at his home in the eastern Spanish Mediterranean resort of Benidorm.

He was arraigned and remanded to jail on Sunday on the charge of collaborating with a terrorist group, but the matter did not become public until Wednesday, officials from the police and the National Court told CNN.

Among the evidence police found, a November 2004 fax to Hamas and a fax from this year to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, each with designs for the improved Qassam, which militants have used in the past to attack Israel, the police official said.

Both groups are considered terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.

The fax contained "detailed plans necessary to build a Qassam rocket and he sent these designs to various terrorist organizations," the police official said.

Dahman, who was born in Gaza but has Spanish nationality, is an aviation engineer who worked in the 1980s on Spanish government aviation projects, the police official said.

In May 2004, he contacted a Hamas member through a magazine, Al Intimad. Dahman told the investigating magistrate at the National Court, Judge Santiago Pedraz, that he became involved with the rocket designs after Israel last year killed Adnan al-Ghoul, the designer of the first Qassam rockets, the officials said.

A report Wednesday in Spain's largest-circulation newspaper, El Pais, reported that Israel had contacted Spain to alert authorities that designs for a new Qassam rocket had been sent from a Spanish fax number.

But the police official could not immediately confirm the Israeli connection, and the Israeli Embassy in Madrid did not immediately respond to CNN's request for information on the case.

Dahman lived for a time in the United States but was expelled after the September 11, 2001, attacks because he lacked a residency permit, the police official said.


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