Interior Minister Angel Acebes said yesterday that the bomb found at a high-speed rail line a day earlier was made of the same type of explosives used in the Madrid terrorist bombings. \n"The explosives are the same as those used on March 11, but at this moment the investigation is continuing ... to try to determine who is behind it," Acebes said in Madrid. \nInvestigators have said the March 11 bombings were carried out with Spanish dynamite -- Goma 2 Eco. The attack killed 191 people and injured 1,800. \nOn Friday morning, authorities immediately stopped six bullet trains using the Madrid-Seville line after the discovery of the 12kg bomb under a track about 60km south of Madrid. The bomb failed to detonate because it wasn't properly connected, officials said. \nAbout 1,600 passengers left their trains and were taken to their destinations by charter buses. Train service was restored yesterday. \nNo train was near the site when the bomb was discovered, state rail officials said. \nThe discovery rattled a country still traumatized by the March 11 attacks, which officials believe may have been carried out by an Islamic extremist group from Morocco. Authorities on Friday stepped up security on Spain's entire rail network, with soldiers providing surveillance. \nJudge Teresa Palacio, the magistrate on duty on Friday at the National Court, said there was no evidence pointing to either the armed Basque separatist group ETA or the al-Qaeda terrorist network in the failed attack, a court official said. ETA has targeted Spanish rail lines in the past. \nBecause the bag was dry and the ground was wet, authorities believe it was placed at the scene on Friday. A 135m-long cable attached to a detonator looked new. \nAcebes said on Friday that the bomber or bombers may have been scared away by security guards as they planted the device. \nThere was no warning about the bomb, he said. \nThe line where the bomb was found mainly serves Spain's AVE bullet trains, which have a maximum speed of 305kph, although some slower trains do use it. \nSpain's entire rail system will get a new security system employing helicopters, four-wheel-drive cars and armored vehicles from the Spanish army. \nMeanwhile, a Spanish judge on Friday charged a 15th suspect for the March 11 bombings. The government has said its investigation is focused on the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which has links to al-Qaeda. \nSpanish newspaper El Mundo reported yesterday that the Spanish embassy in Egypt received a letter from an Islamic militant group threatening new attacks if Spain doesn't withdraw its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. \nIn the letter, the Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri, a group that also claimed responsibility for the March 11 attacks, threatened to strike against Spanish diplomatic missions in North Africa and the Mediterranean region unless Spanish troops were withdrawn in four weeks. \nA Spanish diplomat in Cairo, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the embassy received a threatening letter signed by Abu Hafs after the commuter train attacks last month. \nThe US believes the Abu Hafs group lacks credibility and has only tenuous ties to al-Qaeda. In the past, the group has claimed responsibility for events to which they were not connected -- such as last summer's blackouts in North America and Britain. \nSix of the 15 suspects Spain is holding for the March 11 bombings are charged with mass murder, while the remaining nine are accused of collaborating with or belonging to a terrorist organization.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
CHINA WORRIES: A source said the AIT held a meeting at which Taiwan lawmakers and US officials discussed expediting shipments of arms that were paid for Taiwanese officials have reportedly reached out to the US to discuss the possibility of expediting the delivery of F-16 jets to Taiwan, CNN said on Friday. While the “Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command has watched with increasing concern as China has rapidly modernized its military and improved its training with an eye to Taiwan,” the US Department of State is wary of taking a more aggressive stance against China, a CNN report said. US President Joe Biden’s “administration has discussed with Taiwanese officials the possibility of expediting the delivery of American-made F-16s to Taiwan, according to Taiwanese and US officials familiar with the talks,”
FAMILY: While the CECC agrees ‘in principle’ to allowing entry to foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit, the issue is still being reviewed A nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended for two weeks until Nov. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that agencies are still discussing whether to allow foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit to enter the nation. “In principle we agree to relaxing the entry regulations for the group, but relevant agencies are still reviewing and discussing the matter,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The center on Sept. 13 eased border restrictions for foreign dependents of Taiwanese nationals. They can apply