Moroccan Charged in Madrid Attacks

A judge Tuesday charged a Moroccan with terrorism and mass killings for allegedly helping plan the March 11 Madrid train bombings (search), court officials said.

Hasan al Haski (search), 41, was charged with 191 counts of murder, 1,000 counts of attempted murder and belonging to a terrorist organization, a court official said on condition of anonymity.

Al Haski, arrested in the Canary Islands (search) last week, was expected to be jailed, pending trial, following further questioning by Spain's main anti-terrorism judge, Baltasar Garzon.

The charges came after hours of questioning at the National Court by Judge Juan del Olmo, who is leading the investigation into the attacks that killed 191 people.

Del Olmo said in his ruling that al Haski is a suspected member of the Moroccan Islamic Group, an organization with alleged ties to Al Qaeda blamed for the Casablanca attacks in 2003.

The judge said al Haski is suspected of helping prepare the Madrid bombings.

Seventeen other suspects have been jailed on provisional charges of mass murder or terrorism. The charges stop short of a formal indictment, but suggest the court has strong evidence to convict them.

Garzon is also questioning three other Moroccans — Ali Fahimi, 31; Abdallah Mourib, 36; and Brahim Atia El Hammouchi, 40.

The four were arrested Friday on the island of Lanzarote on suspicion of belonging to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. They are suspected of trying to set up a logistical base on Spain's Canary Islands, a popular holiday destination off the coast of northern Africa.

Both Garzon and Del Olmo said al Haski shared an apartment with Mourib, an imam at the mosque in the Lanzarote town of Puerto del Carmen, and that the two may have trained together at camps run by extremists.

Authorities said al Haski was linked to the March 11 attacks by several suspects arrested in France and Belgium.

Spain's National Court cited al Haski in a Nov. 16 indictment — but with the name Lahoussine el Haski — as being an associate of Abdeladim Akoudad, a jailed Moroccan suspected of heading a militant cell also believed responsible for the Nov. 2 killing of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh.

Forty-five people, including 12 bombers, were killed in the Casablanca attacks in 2003.