Madrid bombings suspect appears in U.K. court

A suspect wanted in Spain for alleged involvement in train bombings that killed almost 200 people in Madrid appeared in a British court Monday.

Moutaz Almallah Dabas, 39, attended a hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in central London. He was arrested Saturday in Slough, just west of London, on a European extradition warrant issued by the Spanish authorities.

District Judge Timothy Workman refused an application for bail and ordered Dabas to remain in custody until another hearing March 29. Dabas spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Lawyer John Hardy, representing the Spanish authorities, told the court Monday that the extradition warrant "alleges Dabas provided care for radical Islamists in Spain, being tenant of an address in Madrid where such persons were housed and trained.

"In that house Dabas and others had text published by Osama bin Laden for distribution, and encouraged those who attended to pledge their affinity to the Jihad thesis of Osama bin Laden.

"Amongst those assembled were those directly responsible for the Madrid bombings in March 2004," Hardy said.

In Madrid on Friday, Spanish police arrested a man whom they identify as Dabas' brother, Mohannad Almallah Dabas. They identified him as a Syrian, and arrested him on suspicion of helping recruit radical Islamists to be sent abroad. Police said he had ties with suspects charged in the March 11, 2004 Madrid bombings.

Spain's Interior Ministry said the brothers used an apartment in Madrid to house recruits or people passing through. The ministry said they were assisted by Basel Ghalyoun, a Syrian already jailed for his suspected role in the Madrid bombings that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,500.

They also are accused of links to Egyptian Rabei Osman Ahmed, who was extradited to Spain from Italy in December and is considered a key figure in the Madrid attacks, and to Imad Yarkas, a Syrian-born Spaniard who is in jail charged with providing financing and logistics for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

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