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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Court questions suspected militants
There was tight security for the suspects' court appearance
There was tight security around the court
By Flora Botsford in Madrid

Six Algerians suspected of links with the Saudi dissident, Osama Bin Laden, have arrived for questioning at the High Court in Madrid, following their arrest earlier this week.

The suspects were driven into the Madrid court complex amid extra-tight security, two in each police van, escorted by a fleet of six other police vehicles.

Suspect's diary sketch
Diary sketch: Possible plan for suicide bombing
They are being questioned by an examining magistrate under suspicion of membership of an illegal armed group.

The Spanish authorities say the six men were part of a dormant terrorist cell awaiting instructions to carry out attacks on United States' interests in Europe.

At least one of them had notes and sketches in his diary which appeared to be plans for a suicide bombing.

Training camps

During raids in several Spanish provinces this week police found video and other evidence linking the suspects with Islamic militant groups which the government says are supported, funded and trained by Osama Bin Laden, the man wanted in connection with the attacks in New York and Washington earlier this month.

Mohammed Atta
Mohammed Atta travelled widely in Spain in July
Objects seized during the raids included equipment for making fake documents, credit cards and airline tickets.

The videos showed training camps for Islamic militants in Afghanistan and guerrilla-style attacks in Algeria and Chechnya.

There is speculation that some of the men may have met Mohammed Atta, allegedly one of the key hijackers involved in the 11 September attacks, when he visited Spain in the summer.

The arrests in Spain, after a two-year police operation, are part of a growing and co-ordinated campaign against Islamic activists around the world.

Police say the Algerian cell was in contact with others around Europe, which are also alleged to have been involved in a plot to attack against American targets.

The suspects may also be charged with membership of an illegal armed organisation - a faction of Algeria's Armed Islamic Group or GIA.

See also:

26 Sep 01 | Europe
Spain arrests six terror suspects
26 Sep 01 | Europe
Nato 'to hear attack evidence'
26 Sep 01 | Americas
US split on Bin Laden evidence
25 Sep 01 | Europe
A significant step for Russia
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Who is Osama Bin Laden?
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