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Italy Arrests Suspected Madrid Bombing 'Mastermind'

Italy arrested an Egyptian man considered to be a mastermind of the Madrid train bombings in the first Europe-wide swoop on Islamic militants linked to the March attack, judicial sources said Tuesday. Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said militants had been planning more attacks as police swooped as part of an operation across Europe. He said the swoop was aimed at a group “close to al Qaeda.” Police in Milan arrested Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, known as “Mohamed the Egyptian,” and another man as part of cross-border raids into the March 11 bombings that killed 191 people in the Spanish capital, the judicial sources said. Ahmed was considered “one of the masterminds” of the Madrid bombings, a Spanish Interior Ministry spokesman said. He has been linked to a Tunisian man, now dead, whom investigators identified as the ringleader of the suspected Islamic militants behind the attacks, the spokesman added. A Madrid court will now seek the extradition of the 32-year-old Egyptian, a court official said. Police in northern Italy, France, Spain and Belgium took part in the coordinated raids, Italian judicial sources said. Full Story

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