Spain’s intelligence service is “99 percent certain” Muslim not Basque militants perpetrated the Madrid train bombings that killed 200 people, a Spanish radio station reported on Saturday.
The report by private radio SER, whose owners have links to the opposition Socialists, flew in the face of government assertions armed group ETA was the prime suspect in the attacks that have traumatized Spain and sent jitters round the world.
It fueled grumbling from critics that Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar’s government might be focusing on the Basque group, rather than al Qaeda, for internal political gain ahead of Sunday’s election. Ministers angrily denied the charge.
“If (they think) it is al Qaeda, nobody has told me,” Interior Minister Angel Acebes said, when asked if intelligence services were tending toward blaming Islamic militants for the blasts.