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Report: Madrid train bombers also targeted New York

(Reuters circulated the following article on March 2.)

MADRID -- The Madrid train bombers had detailed plans of New York's Grand Central Station, indicating they also planned to attack there, a Spanish newspaper reported Wednesday.

Hand-made drawings and other ``highly specialized technical information'' about the station were found on a computer disk seized from the home of one of the suspects, El Mundo reported, citing sources close to the investigation.
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The disk was confiscated within two weeks of the attacks on March 11, 2004, that killed 191 people in Madrid, but Spanish investigators did not warn the FBI and the CIA until December when the full scope of the technical information became clear, El Mundo said.

``Prosecutors at the High Court have informed the FBI and the CIA that the perpetrators of the March 11 attacks had in their possession plans to attack Grand Central Station in New York,'' it said.

No one was immediately available at the Interior Ministry to comment.

The disk was found in the home of a man arrested on suspicion of playing a role in the attacks that rocked Spain three days before a general election, El Mundo said.

The suspect, who El Mundo said had a relationship with other men formally accused in the probe, was released from jail but remains under suspicion. His brother is wanted in another investigation into a suspected al Qaeda cell in Spain, it said.

Ten bombs hidden in sports bags exploded on board four packed commuter trains last March 11 in an attack claimed by men saying they acted in the name of al Qaeda in Europe in response to Spain sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The same group is suspected of planting a bomb on a high-speed rail line south of Madrid a few days after the deadly attacks, and seven prime suspects later blew themselves up in a suburban Madrid apartment when surrounded by police.

Some 70 people have been arrested in the criminal investigation, about half of whom remain in jail or under court supervision.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

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