Arrest and Release in Bombing Center on Fingerprint Match

As the authorities said they were continuing to investigate a Portland lawyer arrested two weeks ago in connection with the deadly Madrid bombings and then abruptly released on Thursday, questions swirled on Friday about the strength of the evidence against him.

The focus was on a fingerprint lifted from the bombing scene that the authorities in the United States had said they traced to the lawyer, Brandon Mayfield. Mr. Mayfield, a Portland immigration and family lawyer, was arrested May 6 and held as a material witness in the Madrid attacks, which killed 191 people and injured more than 2,000.

After his release on Thursday, Mr. Mayfield, 37, went home to his wife and three children, who still do not know why he was detained, relatives said. But even after his release, the authorities said Mr. Mayfield was still a material witness.The Spanish authorities confirmed on Friday that fingerprints found on a plastic bag filled with detonators and matched by American authorities to Mr. Mayfield, a former Army lieutenant and convert to Islam, belonged instead to an Algerian, Ouhnane Daoud. Prints found on the bag, which were sent to American authorities when the Spanish found no match in their database, were from the thumb and middle finger of Mr. Daoud’s right hand, Spanish law enforcement officials said Friday. Full Story

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