Abu Dujana Al-Afghani

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Abu Dujana Al-Afghani, or Abu Nayaf al-Afghani was a claimed spokesperson for "al-Qaeda of Europe" who demanded an end to Spanish support and involvement in the War on Terror. Abu Dujana claimed responsibility for the 2004 Madrid train bombings, as well as a failed train bombing the following month.[1][2][3]

Activities and identification[edit]

On 13 March a video was found by a mosque in Madrid in which Abu Dujana claimed responsibility for the 11 March Madrid train bombings on behalf of "al-Qaeda in Europe", and on 3 April a letter was sent under the name to a Spanish news station, claiming responsibility for an attempted bombing of a train en route from Madrid to Seville on 2 April, and promising more attacks unless Spain withdrew from the War on Terror (Spain eventually withdrew following a general election that brought Socialists to power in April).[1][2][4][5]

Abu Dujana has been speculated to be two people: Jamal Ahmidan "the Chinese" who was arrested after the attacks, or more likely Youssef Belhadj, a Moroccan based in Molenbeek, Belgium who in 2008 was found guilty of belonging to a terrorist group and sentenced to 12 years in prison, thought by Spanish authorities to be Abu Dujana.[4][6] Belhajd, also thought to have been connected to the 2003 Casablanca bombings, was arrested in Belgium on 1 February 2005 and extradited to Spain.[7][8][9] Convicted after the Madrid bombings, Belhadj was the leader of a Belgian cell of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) along with Hassan el-Haski.[10][11][12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Spain Arrests Another In Train Bombings". The Washington Post. 6 April 2004. 
  2. ^ a b "Letter Said to Be From Al Qaeda Threatens Spain". The New York Times. 6 April 2004. 
  3. ^ Weimann, Gabriel (2006). "Virtual Training Camps: Terrorists use of the Internet". In Forest, James JF. Teaching Terror: Strategic and Tactical Learning in the Terrorist World. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 130. ISBN 9781461643968. 
  4. ^ a b "'El Chino' tenía un texto que urgía a reivindicar el 11-M para forzar el cambio de Gobierno". elmundo.es (in Spanish). 9 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "Security high for Spanish trains". CNN. 3 April 2004. 
  6. ^ "Brussels attacks: Why jihadism thrives in suburb of Molenbeek". The Australian. 23 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Madrid bombings: Defendants". BBC. 17 July 2008. 
  8. ^ Haberfeld, M.R.; von Hassell, Agostino (2009). A New Understanding of Terrorism: Case Studies, Trajectories and Lessons Learned. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 192–193. ISBN 9781441901156. 
  9. ^ "Suspected plot organisers Youssef Belhad.." Getty Images. 16 February 2007. 
  10. ^ "Madrid suspects 'planned' attack in Belgium". Expatica News. 12 April 2006. 
  11. ^ Reinares, Fernando (22 March 2012). "The Evidence of Al-Qa`ida's Role in the 2004 Madrid Attack". Combatting Terrorism Center. 
  12. ^ Reinares, Fernando (3 November 2009). "Jihadist Radicalization and the 2004 Madrid Bombing Network". Combatting Terrorism Center. 
  13. ^ "Madrid bombings: the defendants". The Guardian. 31 October 2007.