11-M Spaniard admits guilt

11-M memorial at Atocha station in Madrid

FORMER miner Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras, appealing against a 34,715-year prison sentence, finally confessed to supplying the dynamite used in the Madrid terrorist attack on March 11, 2004. Trashorras previously claimed he was innocent, giving seven different accounts of his part in the plot which were seized on by conspiracy theorists determined to link the 11-M bombs to the Basque terrorist group, ETA.

Trashorras admitted his guilt during his appeal at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.  He asked the victims to forgive him for what he called “his involuntary role” in the bombings and apologised for not cooperating with the law.


Through his lawyer Carlos Orbañanos, Trashorroas continued to insist he did not know that Jamal Ahmidan, El Chino, headed a radical cell and wanted the dynamite for a terrorist attack.

Because Ahmidan and his associates did not appear to be fundamentalists but drank, frequented clubs and dealt in drugs, Trashorras believed Ahmidan when he said wanted the dynamite to raid a jeweller’s, never imagining it would be used to blow up trains.

Nevertheless, the Spanish courts decided that Trashorras knew what the dynamite was wanted for:  “Don’t forget to pick up the screws and nails,” he allegedly reminded Ahmidan, according to El Gitanillo, a witness at the 2007 trial.

The former miner was referring to shrapnel for the bombs, claimed the prosecution, and would have known that it was not needed for safebreaking.

El Gitanillo might have seen the dynamite but did not actually see the shrapnel and only heard it referred to, argued Carlos Orbaños last week.



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