The forgotten terrorist attack

Daily News 19 April 2010

There were 18 dead. A witness recognized as an author to Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a Syrian citizen Spanish, linked to Al Qaeda About 2230 of April 12, 1985, Cristina Salado was at the bar of the restaurant El Descanso, near the U.S. base in Torrejón de Ardoz, accompanied by her husband, Arturo Rodriguez, Mercedes Dresher her friend and partner of this . It was Friday and the three rooms of the restaurant, with a capacity of 200 seats were filled. Suddenly he saw a flash and was found under a pile of rubble. They spent two hours before the rescued, but did not faint. He heard screams, but it seemed that the time passed quickly until extracted from the rubble.

A Cristina her out alive. It was not the same with her husband Arthur, security officer for Prime Minister, or his friend Mercedes Dresher, an employee of City Bank. 2 of the 18 were killed in the bombing of El Descanso. Cristina, bodily injury, joined the list of the 82 wounded. Only 11 of the 100 victims (killed and wounded) were Americans. Today, Sunday, the Association Affected 11-M celebrates an act of recognition in the so-called Forest of the Absent, in the Retiro Park, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

The restaurant El Descanso "The House of Ribs was the first Islamist terrorist attack in Spain against Spanish and the third has suffered worse than this country, with 18 deaths, occurred after March 11, 2004 in Madrid, 192 dead, also of Islamist terrorism, and the Hipercor in Barcelona in June 1987 with 21 fatalities, whose author was ETA. It is also the most unknown. Twenty years later no one has been arrested for this attack and has not been tried.

That was the first Islamic attack against Spanish subjects generated confusion over its authorship. The attack occurred in an establishment is frequented by U.S. soldiers at the base of Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid). Also had a year to the holding of the referendum on NATO, were about to establish diplomatic relations with Israel and the visit to Spain next U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

The Interior Ministry, then headed by Jose Barrionuevo, only gave credence to the two letters that claimed in the first 48 hours after the attack: Islamic Jihad, carried out from Beirut (Lebanon) and Waad (Promise), distributed by Kuwait News Agency News Agency in Beirut and Aden. Waad was an acronym used by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special Command (PFLP-CE), a division of the PLO, to claim their attacks.

With the gained weight over time the demand for Islamic Jihad. The letter published two weeks after the attack said: "Islam is ready. Spain and Italy are the first targets. The attack in Madrid was the beginning of the Islamic holy war. Death to America. The apostles of death are prepared to resume the holy war. ”

Furthermore, this same group had claimed other attacks in 1984 on Spanish soil, but not against nationals. In Marbella was killed Nasser Abdul Aziz Saudi national as a result of an attack against the owner of the Kuwaiti daily Al Anbas, Khalid al Maarzook, who was unharmed. And in Madrid alleged attacks against the Lebanese Jousset Assad Elias Awad, a suspected informer of the Mossad (Israeli secret service) who became a paraplegic.

Salado Cristina could not hear anything of what happened in the days after the bombing. He was in the hospital recovering from serious injuries. Doctors kept him from watching television. But after three days they were forced to notify her husband had died in the attack. "I sensed because Arthur and I were very close. Stop feeling and I said: No longer,” says Cristina.

This woman was set as a primary goal of his life knowing the truth of the attack which killed her husband. She was active in the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) of the first period and the Association Affected 11-M.

Few developments have occurred since then on this case. In 1992, the questioning of Judge Baltasar Garzon sorry Boumershed Ahmed, a member of the PFLP and former associate of Syrian arms dealer Monzer al Kassar, did not get any results. The case came to be shelved temporarily.

After the attack of March 11, 2004 in Madrid, which focused on political interest and information on Islamic terrorism, it appeared that the situation could change. Among the extensive information which provided the media on Islamist terrorism, a witness recognized as the bomber of El Descanso Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a Syrian citizen Spanish, linked to the Spanish cell of Al Qaeda and its leader, Abu Dadah. He did it in the Prosecutor of the Audiencia Nacional. The description matched Setmarian presented for collection in the summary. His testimony prompted the judge Ismael Moreno to reopen the case, filed in 1987 for lack of known authorship.

A Setmarian claimed by the Audiencia Nacional, he lost track in 2005 after being arrested in Quetta, a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are suspicions that it may be in one of the secret prisons that Americans at Diego Gomez, an island in the Indian Ocean, or in Syria. In 2009, Judge Garzon sent a car to the U.S. authorities asking about the whereabouts of Setmarian. In December he was told they did not know where he was (...)