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Strange coincidences about last year's bombings in Madrid
May 21, 2005 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Strange coincidences about last year's bombings in Madrid
posted by iffley (13 comments total)

 
Hugh Hewitt in the blog-roll. Uh-huh. I'm gonna have to attack a bayesian coefficient to this particular data-dump of 1e-9 'til I get other inputs.

I'll leave the wacky right to try to put together the pieces to what could have been intelligence service job perpetrated by anyone. Good luck with those wheels-within-wheels, LOL.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:20 AM on May 21, 2005


Can someone connect the dots for me, please?

I fail to see the conspiracy here. So the guy who sold the explosives knows someone from the bomb squad. Well, they are both experts in explosives, which as a field is probably narrow enough that people just know each other. Probably go to the same bomb-building/bomb-defusing workshops and hang out at the same bars too.

I think I can also answer 4 and 5 in combination:

4. The cellphone in backpack 13 was a Mitsubishi Trium, requiring a SIM card to activate the alarm, and thereby detonate. SIM cards are notoriously easy to trace. Why would technically sophisticated terrorists make such a choice?

5. The cellphones used in the bombing came from a cellphone shop owned by Mausilli Kalaji, a Spanish police officer,


Maybe the terrorists wanted to frame Kalaji, who as a police officer is clearly a collaborator with the infidels.
posted by sour cream at 3:59 AM on May 21, 2005


"they are both experts in explosives, which as a field is probably narrow enough that people just know each other. Probably go to the same bomb-building/bomb-defusing workshops and hang out at the same bars too."

This is striking me as really funny; I see a dark bar called "The Short Fuse" populated with shadowy Spy-vs.-Spy types whispering to each other and drinking exotic cocktails like pink squirrels and pina coladas while looking over their shoulders.
posted by taz at 4:20 AM on May 21, 2005


The DJ there is the bomb.
posted by ph00dz at 4:45 AM on May 21, 2005


Yeah but the food blows.
posted by mr.marx at 5:37 AM on May 21, 2005


Oh dear, the 3/11 or (11-M, as we say in Spain) conspiracy theories...Some background is necessary to understand the whole mess.
1) Directly after the bombings, the conservatives then in government blamed the Basque terrorist group ETA. It was a reasonable guess, considering that ETA had already tried a couple of times to plant bombs in trains. However, it was also a convenient guess, considering that Spanish involvement in Iraq had been at the heart of the campaign for the elections due three days later.
2) As clues for Islamist involvement hardened, the leftist opposition started demonstrating against what they saw (with some reason) as a cover-up, and blaming (rather unfairly, IMHO) the prime minister and his Iraq policy for the nearly 200 deaths.
3) When the elections took place, the opposition unexpectedly won. This said, although the polls prior to 11-M favoured the conservatives, I do think that they underestimated the opposition's strength. In any case, this was taken very badly by the conservatives, who considered themselves unseated by an unholy combination of Islamist terrorism and leftist slander (but not, however, by their own blundering and arrogance). Since, moreover, the new government is talking about eventual negotiations with ETA (if ETA swears off violence and lies down its weapons, mind you) and is (rather too) friendly towards Catalan and Basque nationalists (because it needs their votes), speculation about a three-band socialist-nationalist-Islamist conspiracy is rife among the right wing. Which is completely nutters.
4) El Mundo is a newspaper generally (but not always) sympathetic with the conservatives, with a good line in investigative journalism. However, it is also rather "yellow", and has a tendency to connect far too many dots to be entirely credible...
5) In Spain there are two national police bodies, the National Police and the Guardia Civil. They don't like each other much, and most of El Mundo's scoops on 11-M look suspiciously like leaks from both police bodies trying to discredit each other. Which, incidentally, they are achieving rather well.

So, was there a conspiracy? I rather think not. There was a group of young losers, mostly of Moroccan origin, quite involved in petty crime and drug trade, who "got Allah" pretty badly and committed a monstrous crime for which they got the material from the same criminal underworld with which they traded their drugs. Since that criminal underworld also contains plenty of police informers (and sometimes even the odd police officer), links with the police were inevitable. The pity was that the police didn't listen enough to their informers and catch these guys in time, but the thing is, at that time the authorities were simply not alert enough to the danger of Islamic extremism from Spain's own Muslim immigrant population.
posted by Skeptic at 6:22 AM on May 21, 2005


YOU FOOLS! Al-Fatah has infiltrated Spain and is now running the Spanish government and police force! Are you blind?
posted by louigi at 6:33 AM on May 21, 2005


I noted the circular logic in the case of the unconnected bomb.

1) the 13th backpack bomb was disconnected.
2) (fallacy introduced) this was impossible because the bomb makers were highly competent
3) this means it was impossible for them to make the mistake. Therefore (insert absurd conclusion)

The "what really happened is impossible" trope is sterotypical conspiratorialist fallacy.
posted by warbaby at 6:49 AM on May 21, 2005


Won't somebody please, please, please think of the coming generation of right-wing-blogger's children?
posted by yonation at 7:44 AM on May 21, 2005


Thanks for the info and insight Skeptic. I was in Spain during the bombings and, to this outsider, it sure looked like the conservatives were thrown out not because of the attacks but because they played politics and tried to blame ETA.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:26 AM on May 21, 2005


There are 6 letters in the word Madrid. There are 4 letters in the word bomb, there are five letters in the word train. The next number in the sequence is 6!
posted by drezdn at 9:38 AM on May 21, 2005


thanks skeptic.

meanwhile on the other side of the atlantic...

In any case, this was taken very badly like manna from heaven by the conservatives, who considered themselves unseated able to be re-elected by blaming an unholy combination of Islamist terrorism and leftist slander (but not, however, by in spite of their own blundering and arrogance).

pity for aznar that karl rove no habla espanola.
posted by three blind mice at 10:21 AM on May 21, 2005


San Sebastien is beautiful this time of year.
posted by bardic at 3:07 PM on May 21, 2005


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