The March 11 Spanish terrorist attack investigation
has taken some very interesting turns: Barcepundit‘s got the goods:
According to the journalistic investigation, the Tedax officers (Spanish police bomb squad) hid for three months to the investigating judge that an X-ray done to the real (not to the staged for ABC) backpack showed that there was no way it could have ever exploded since it had unconnected cables. Something odd, since it had always been said that the bombers were technically proficient. At the same time, the Tedax chief cellphone number appeared misteriously in the phonebook of Carmen Toro, allegedly one -together with his brother and husband- of the suppliers of the dynamite used for the March 11 bombs. When the investigating judge called the number, a chief’s aide answered the phone and said that it belonged to one of the guys in the squad, “who used the boss’ name as a nickname” (can I put a hundred exclamation marks here?).
Remember: this backpack was the only that didn’t explode and appeared from no one knows where. But it was what was found in it what allowed the opposition to make the case that it was Islamic terrorists -as the Socialists were saying- and not ETA -as Aznar’s government had initially said-, for two reasons: first, the kind of explosive, Goma 2 ECO instead of Tytadine (the usual in the latest ETA attacks). However, the conclusion that the exploded backpacks had Goma 2 ECO in it was made because of what was found on the unexploded one, not on actual forensic analysis of the explosion site, since apparently once it’s gone off it’s absolutely impossible to know for sure, being both Goma 2 ECO and Tytadine two brands of generic dynamite.
And second, because of the SIM card inside the phone. But, if the cables had been connected, the bomb would have gone off not by a phone call or another electronic trigger, but by the internal’s alarm clock which was programmed to turn the phone on and vibrate. Most phones don’t need a SIM card for that, but the model chosen by guys who were alleged phone experts (since they owned a phone shop) was the Mitsubishi Trium, precisely one of the few ones who need a SIM card inserted to function as a mere alarm clock. And it was the analysis of the SIM card which, less than 48 hours after the blasts, allowed the police to arrest the alleged perpetrators.
So El Mundo wonders whether this backpack is a real piece of evidence or a red herring used to divert the blame from ETA to al-Qaeda by operatives (inside law enforcement forces?) to fool the chain of command upwards and therefore leaving Aznar’s government standing on their wrong foot.
As it turns out, one of the pollicemen involved in the investigation was the owner of the shop where the cell phones came from; his niece was in charge of translating the telephone conversations that the General Information Office was taping from the Islamic cells in Spain, AND his wife was one of the police officers that had access on 3-11 to the van in Alcalá where the Koran tapes found led investigators to believe the blast was connected to Islamic, not ETA, terrorists. That same policeman, Syrian-born Maussili Kalaji, was once a member of Al Fatah, and had trained in the Soviet Union as a spy.
I translated the article published at Libertad Digital. There’s an additional, longer article at Internet Opina that copies the full text of the El Mundo report written by Antonio Rubio, which I’m reveiwing, and will post on additional information. Here’s the Libertad Digital’s article’s text in its entirety (PLEASE: if you quote from this translation, I urge you to credit me. Thank you.)
The Kalaji family and March 11: from cell phones, to translations, to the van in Alcalá
While on Monday we found out about the mysteries surrounding knapsack #13 of the terrorist blasts, Tuesday’s [Spanish daily] El Mundo reveals surprising new information on the March 11 investigation. The cell phones in the knapsack bombs came from a store owned by Maussili Kalaji, a Syrian officer in the [Spanish] national police, who went from Al Fatah to working as bodyguard for [magistrate] Garzón. The cards in those phones led to the apartment in Leganés. Kalaji’s sister translated The Tunisian’s conversations, and his ex-wife was one of the police officers who first arrived to the van in Alcalá.
Maussili Kalaji, 46-yr old Syrian, has an extensive background. As a youth he was a member of Al Fatah, which back then was one of the most important terrorist groups in the Middle East. Kalaji trained in weapons and explosives in one of the Al Fatah campgrounds. During his tour of the Soviet Union he perfected his training as a secret agent.
According to journalist Antonio Rubio, Maussili Kalaji’s journey in our country starts in 1981 when, having just arrived in Spain, he obtained political refugee status. In 1984 he received Spanish citizenship “for services rendered” to this country, supposedly from information he gave to the secret services. Five years later he joined the National Police’s basic service. After that he rose meteorically in the Fuerzas de Seguridad (Security Forces).
From the basic service he progressed to the Comisaría General de Información (General Information Office), and from there to the Unidad Central de Información Exterior (UCIE), (Central Exterior Information Unit) — the Unit which later would investigate the March 11 (3-11) explosions. From there he transferred to the Judicial Police Brigade and the [police’s] Minor’s Unit. Lastly, Kalaji ends up as bodyguard for Baltasar Garzón, the National Audience’s (judicial* chamber) Magistrate.
According to El Mundo, in 1989 the Syrian-Spaniard took part in a very important operation against Islamic terrorism in the port of Valencia, which uncovered a shipment of explosives camouflaged as tin cans. Baltasar Garzón himself praised this operation on his testimony at the March11 Commission. A year later, Kalaji received a public commendation from the Minister of the Interior. Apparently, it was an informant, Mohamed Arabi, who alerted the police about the shipment coming from Lebanon. The eight detainees from the operation were members of Hezbollah, and four of them were Iraqis. The explosives would have been used in attempts against American, French, Kuwaiti, and Saudi Arabian embassies in Europe.
That same informant, Mohamed Arabi, took part in November 2001 on the Operación Dátil (Operation Date), during which were detained the people accused that are now on trial for their participation in 9-11 attack in the USA. The cell’s leader is, Abu Dada, which whom agent Kalaji was on friendly terms. During Operación Dátil the informant Arabi was arrested, but thanks to Kalaji’s intervention before Judge Garzón, Arabi was set free.
On to March 11 La Razón broke the news to the media in the middle of the 3-11 investigations. The cell phones used in the knapsack bombs came from a store owned by a policeman. The phones were purchased at a shop owned by Indian citizens, and in Kalaji’s business the phones’ internal codes were reset so they could be used by other phone services. When this fact was discovered, agent Kalaji was taken to Canillas station for a statement. As reported then, once it was established that his shop only did something considered routine in that type of store, and not illegal, the Syrian-Spaniard was free.
But there are more contacts of the Kalaji family with 3-11: Lina, Maussili’s sister, was in charge of translating the telephone conversations that the General Information Office was taping from the Islamic cells in Spain. Lina, who has 16 years’ experience as translator, raised the alert in many occasions over the danger posed by Sherhane Ben Fakhet, a.k.a. The Tunisian.
The family coincidences don’t stop there. As it turns out, agent Marisol Kalaji, Kalaji’s wife, was one of the police officers that had access on 3-11 to the van in Alcalá. If, thanks to the cards sold in the policeman’s store, the GEO (the elite police SWAT unit) found out about the Leganés apartment – where the Islamic terrorists later died in an explosion – thanks to the discovery of the Kangoo van there was access to the Koran tapes, which strengthened the Islamic leads over the ETA.
Once the Islamic terrorists blew themselves up in Leganés, agent Kalaji asked for leave from the Madrid Judicial Brigade. Right now he’s on leave due to depression, even when some who know Kalaji have said, according to El Mundo, that the policeman has been separated by his supervisors because he’d become an uncomfortable witness for some in charge at the Comisaría General de Información (General Information Office), of whom Telesforo Rubio is director. The statements that Kalaji, who had been watched by his fellow officers and the CNI (Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, Spain’s equivalent to the CIA or the FBI), made to judge Juan Del Olmo are still secret by judicial decree.
Will be posting further on this tomorrow.
Correction * Yesterday I mistakenly wrote “legislative chamber”; it should be judicial chamber. My apologies.
Post continues here