Seven suspect members of kidnapping ring arrested, Spain

Police freed a Moroccan hostage and arrested seven suspected members of a kidnapping ring, three of them relatives of a reputed ringleader of the Madrid bombings, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The ministry said it did not know if the gang in general, or just the three suspects detained, were linked to last year's commuter train attacks, which killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,500.

The Moroccan had been abducted from his Madrid home Thursday, the ministry said. Police, who were alerted by the hostage's relatives, freed him and arrested five men on Saturday. Two more suspects were arrested Monday, it said.

Two of the seven are brothers of Madrid bombing suspect Jamal Ahmidan and another was his cousin. Ahmidan is a Moroccan who investigators say helped finance the terrorist cell that committed the Madrid massacre.

Investigators say Ahmidan was a petty criminal and drug dealer who was among seven suspected ringleaders of the bombing who blew themselves up on April 3, 2004, in an apartment outside Madrid as police moved in to arrest them, reports the AP.

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