Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Stolen from the Spanish mint

From The Register (my emphasis):

"The terrorists responsible for last year's Madrid bombings used at least one genuine ID document stolen from the Spanish Mint, according to a report in elconfidencial.com (Spanish language). Spain, according to UK Immigration Minister Des Browne, regards ID cards as valuable in the fight against terrorism, but this ID was one of a batch of 300 stolen from the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (FNMT), which prints banknotes, passports and IDs, in November 2002.

Around 40 of the stolen cards are still thought to be missing, says elconfidencial, quoting a report by the Spanish police's Unidad Central de Intelligencia (UCI, Central Intelligence Unit). The card was seized among the possessions of of Moroccan Jamal Ahmidan, who is accused of renting (using a fake Belgian passport) the house where the Madrid bombs were made. The ID card, for a resident alien, bore Ahmidan's picture, but the data was for another Moroccan, Othman El Gnaout, who is also accused of involvement in the attacks. Police seem to have thought initially that they were onto a major document faking network, before the trail led back to the mint."


Stolen? From a mint? There's a reason not many things get stolen from mints. We are to believe that the authorities only discovered this 'theft' when they worked backwards from the fact that an alleged terrorist had one of these ID cards. Since he had one, the intelligence agency determined that there must have been a theft. Looked at objectively, the much more obvious conclusion is that a government insider supplied the 'terrorists' with the ID cards.

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