A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda said on Wednesday it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new Madrid government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper said. In a statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations. “Because of this decision, the leadership has decided to stop all operations within the Spanish territories… until we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq,” the statement said. “And we repeat this to all the brigades present in European lands: Stop all operations.” Skepticism has greeted previous claims of responsibility by the group for attacks in Turkey and Iraq. U.S. officials say its links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network are unclear. Full Story
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