March 14 (Bloomberg) — Spain’s government announced it received a videotape claiming to be from al-Qaeda that said the terrorist group was behind the Madrid bombings on Thursday which killed about 200 people and injured about 1,500.
Interior Minister Angel Acebes said the national police found the videotape in a trash can in Madrid after a man with an Arabic accent notified a local television station of its whereabouts. Acebes said Spanish authorities had not determined if the tape was authentic.
“We declare our responsibility for what happened in Madrid, exactly 2 1/2 years after the attacks in New York and Washington,” the speaker in the videotape said, according to a transcript faxed to the media by Spain’s Interior Ministry early today. “It is a response to your collaboration with the criminals Bush and his allies.”
The Spanish government of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has been a staunch ally of the U.S. and the U.K. in the war in Iraq, and is contributing Spanish troops to the occupation of the Middle Eastern country.
“This is a response to the crimes that you have caused in the world and specifically in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and there will be more, if God wills it,” said the speaker in the videotape, who identified himself as Abu Dujan Al Afgani, “military spokesman” of al-Qaeda in Europe.
Acebes said Spanish and U.K. intelligence authorities did not immediately recognize that name. The speaker in the videotape was dressed in Arab-style clothing and spoke in Arabic with a Moroccan accent, Acebes said.
The telephone call was made to TV station TeleMadrid around 7:30 p.m. yesterday, Acebes said.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Todd White in Madrid at firstname.lastname@example.org.