Wednesday, June 16, 2004
A Spanish investigating judge today said he had concluded a comprehensive, eight-year probe into Islamic extremist activity in Spain, and his report will likely lead to formal charges and trials for 15 suspected militants accused of helping to plan the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, according to media reports here citing the unreleased document.
The judge, Baltasar Garzon, did not make his conclusions public, but the Spanish news reports, citing court sources, said 14 people now in custody and one man free on bail face terrorism charges for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
It turns out that the fellow out on bail works for Al-Jaz:
Of the 15 people reportedly named by Garzon, only one is free on bail: Taysir Alouni, who was born in Syria, lives in southern Spain and works for the pan-Arabic television network al-Jazeera. Alouni interviewed bin Laden shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, and Spanish news reports Tuesday said he was accused of providing money and information to al Qaeda.
I'm not a big Al-Jaz basher, but I do believe in holding Arab institutions to the same standards of behavior that we hold Western and Isreali institutions to. Al-Jazeera needs to do a complete internal investigation, and be very open about its findings. If it doesn't, it is worthy of nothing but contempt.