Sunday, July 25, 2004

MORE on the second car related to the March 11 bomb attacks in Madrid which was found by the Spanish police:
Spain is investigating why it took police three months to find a stolen car used by the Madrid bombers even though it was abandoned close to a van they used, Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said on Sunday.

The car was found close to the station where the attackers on March 11 boarded commuter trains and killed 191 people, injuring 1,900. The van was found in the same car park on the day of the blasts in one of the major breaks in the case.

"We're trying to establish why from March 11, when investigations began, to June 13, the car was not found. We are trying to get an explanation as quickly as possible," Alonso told a news conference.
Well, it's nice to see that at last we're getting some official update on the investigations, even if it was only slipped in the end bit of a press conference about the recent ETA arrests. But what should be investigated is not why it took three months to discover the car, but why it took one and a half months to take this development to the public and only after a paper had leaked it.

Remember, these guys had been complaining that the previous government had been withholding key data to the public regarding the Madrid atrocities.

UPDATE: The NYT covers this news in a brief article with no stunning revelation, except for this:
At a news conference on Sunday, Mr. Alonso said he had withheld the information because the police told him that releasing it would harm their investigation. "Our job is to pay attention to the police," he said.
Which is perfectly fine with me. But, then again, from March 11 to 14 I wasn't demanding that each and every single item in the investigation be almost broadcast in real-time -as Mr Alonso's party did-, nor accusing the former government of a coverup because it would prefer its officers to assess the evidence before going public with it a couple hours later. Besides, anyone with a minimum of knowledge of security issues knows there's a world of a difference between the situation in the immediate aftermath of an attack, in which it is key to be extra-careful not to hinder the chances to catch the guys that have just hit and when they're still at large, and a mishandled clue that is colder than ice after three months.