Alleged Al-Qaeda leader in Spain assaulted in Spanish jail

Immad Yarkas, Al-Qaeda’s alleged leader in Spain, is in hospital after being attacked on Friday by fellow inmates in the prison where he was awaiting the outcome of the trial held against him and two other suspects accused of planning the Madrid train bombings last year. Mr. Yarkas, alias “Abu Dahdah” is accused of 2,500 murders, belonging to a terrorist group and possessing counterfeit money.

According to reports in El Mundo, Immad Yarkas was attacked by a group of other prisoners at breakfast and was taken to hospital where he remains under observation with several facial fractures. Mr Yarkas was moved to Castellon when Europe’s largest trial of suspected al-Qaeda members concluded in Madrid at the beginning of this month.

Despite the fact that he was under a judicial order to be kept isolated from other prisoners, Castellon’s prison lacks solitary confinement facilities for high-risk inmates which is why fellow prisioners were able to get close enough to first insult and then physically assault Mr Yarkas.

According to the prison’s management, the prisoners who took part in the aggression have still not been identified and prison directors have opened an investigation.

Meanwhile, Immad Yarkas’s lawyer told reporters yesterday that he is considering suing the director of Castellon prison for failing to provide his client with the protection necessary for his physical well-being.

The Popular Party has asked Spain’s Interior Minister, Jose Antonio Alonso, for the resignation of the current Director of Prisons, Mercedes Gallizo. According to the shadow Interior minister, Gallizo made a serious mistake by allowing the main suspect in the trial against Al Qaeda in Spain to be sent to a prison with no solitary confinement modules.

If found guilty, the alleged leader of the Spanish cell of Al Qaeda could face a prison sentence adding up to 74,337 years. During the trial when he was given the right to make a statement, Immad Yarka denied any relation to Al Qaeda and the Madrid bombings, and he called the 10-week trial a “farce”.