MADRID, Spain (AP)- Spain’s interior minister Tuesday named a Moroccan extremist group for the first time as the main focus of the probe into the Madrid terror bombings.
Minister Angel Acebes said authorities will investigate links between the prime suspects in detention and “terrorist groups or fundamentalist groups, very especially the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group.”
The group has surfaced in Spanish news reports but this was the first time Acebes or any other Spanish official had cited it publicly as a possibly behind the attacks that left 191 dead.
Moroccan investigators have also said they are focusing on two principal extremist groups “” the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group and Salafia Jihadia. Salafia Jihadia is accused by the Moroccan government of organizing five nearly simultaneous attacks on May 16, 2003, in Casablanca, Morocco, that killed 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers.
The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group is a forerunner to the Salafia Jihadia and is considered to be the first radical jihad movement in Morocco.