Inmates questioned over terror plot |

Inmates questioned over terror plot

Inmates questioned over terror plot

MADRID, Spain – Three Algerians who were considered close to the suspected ringleader of the Madrid train bombings are being questioned about an alleged suicide plot to blow up Spain’s National Court, officials said Thursday.

Spanish police said the three Algerians are among 10 prisoners who have been isolated from other inmates for questioning over a possible link to the alleged plot to kill judges investigating Islamic terrorists by blowing up the court.

In 2001, the court convicted the three Algerians of belonging to a terrorist group along with Allekema Lamari, the suspected ringleader of the March 11 train bombings in Madrid, which killed 191 people.

Lamari has been identified as one of seven suspects who blew themselves up April 3 as police investigating the bombings prepared to arrest them in an apartment outside Madrid. A police spokesman declined to comment on Lamari’s relationship with the three Algerian inmates. But the newspaper La Vanguardia quoted one investigator as saying the three were Lamari’s “people.”

Gunmen ambush Iraqi Airways employees

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Gunmen opened fire Thursday on a bus carrying female employees of Iraqi Airways to the Baghdad airport, killing one woman and wounding 14 others, an airline official said.

The new violence came as Britain agreed to a U.S. request to move nearly 900 British troops from the south to more volatile central Iraq in order to free up American forces for a stepped-up campaign against Sunni insurgents.

The British government agreed to the move despite fierce opposition within the governing Labour Party – where many saw it as a political gift to President Bush ahead of November elections – and fears it could mean more casualties for the British.

U.S. commanders have spoken of a new offensive ahead of Iraq’s crucial elections in January aimed at suppressing insurgents who control a number of central Sunni Muslim cities, particularly the stronghold of Fallujah, where peace negotiations with city leaders have broken down.

Fallujah leaders on Thursday called on Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s government to force a halt to the frequent U.S. airstrikes in the city.

Senior Hamas leader killed in airstrike

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – An Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle traveling in the Gaza Strip late Thursday, killing two people including a senior Hamas member at the top of Israel’s most-wanted list, a spokesman for the militant group said.

Adnan al-Ghoul, the No. 2 figure in the group’s military wing, died in the attack, said Hamas spokesman Musher al-Masri.

“It’s a new crime committed by the Zionist occupation government against one of the leaders of the Palestinian resistance,” al-Masri said. The army had no immediate comment. The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, plans and carries out attacks on Israelis. Al-Ghoul’s killing leaves the Hamas military leadership exclusively in the hands of Mohammed Deif, its longtime chief.

– Associated Press