RealNews

U.S. Official Says Spanish Government 'Mishandled' Reports on Bombing

The Bush administration said Wednesday for the first time that the Spanish government had mishandled early information about the Madrid bombing when it played down evidence that Islamic extremists were behind the plot. The strongest public statement came from Richard L. Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, who said in a television interview that the Spanish government initially “didn’t get what information did exist out to the public.” He suggested that the Spanish government had clung to the supposition that a Basque separatist group, ETA, was responsible and failed to tell the public about emerging evidence that Islamic extremists might have detonated the bombs that killed about 200 and injured hundreds of others Thursday. In separate interviews, he twice said Spain “mishandled” the matter, The Associated Press reported. As a result, he said, the governing party was ousted in elections Sunday. Full Story

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