MADRID, Spain *—*The fingerprints of the American lawyer arrested in Oregon over the Madrid terror bombings were found on bag containing detonators of the kind used in the March 11 attack, the Spanish government said Friday.
The plastic shopping bag was found inside a stolen van left near the train station from which three of the four bombed trains departed, an Interior Ministry official said.
The detonators in the bag were of the same kind used in the March 11 attacks, which killed 191 people, the government has said previously.
The van was found in Alcala de Henares, about 20 miles northeast of Madrid. Inside it police also found an Arabic-language cassette tape with verses from the Quran, police have said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer whom FBI agents arrested*in Portland, Ore.,*as part of the investigation into the deadly multiple train bombings in Spain has ties to a group of people found guilty of helping Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Brandon Mayfield (search), a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody Thursday on a material witness warrant, said a senior law enforcement official in Washington, D.C. The arrest, first reported in Newsweek, is the first known in the United States with connections to the*March 11 bombings (search)*in Madrid.
Newsweek said Mayfield had done child custody work for one of six Portland Muslims convicted last year of trying to travel to Afghanistan to help*Usama bin Laden's (search)*terror network*Al Qaeda (search).
Earlier this year, the last of the six was sentenced on charges of conspiring to wage war against the United States by helping Al Qaeda and the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan.
Mayfield represented one of those people, Jeffrey Leon Battle, in a custody case involving Battle's son. Law enforcement officials did not know of any further contacts between Mayfield and any of the other Portland terrorism defendants.
Mayfield had attempted to have Battle's son, who went by the Muslim name Esau in Portland, placed in the custody of an uncle who had also converted to Islam, rather than with his biological mother and Battle's former wife Angela Rowden of Houston. Rowden was awarded custody of the boy, who now goes by the name Geoffrey.
Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Portland, confirmed two search warrants had been served Thursday in Washington County, which includes Aloha. She would not release further details.
The FBI on Thursday also searched the man's home, which he shares with his wife, a law enforcement official said.
Mayfield's fingerprints were found on materials related to the Madrid bombings, said a second senior law enforcement official.
Officials would not provide any further details about the man or his alleged connection with the*Madrid bombings, which killed 191 people and injured 2,000 others. Spanish authorities blame the attack on Islamic extremists, possibly linked to Al Qaeda.
Eighteen people have been charged to date in Spain -- six charged with mass murder and the others with collaboration or with belonging to a terrorist organization.
The FBI and other U.S. agencies have warned that Al Qaeda or its sympathizers might attempt to attack mass transit systems in major U.S. cities this summer.
Outside Mayfield's suburban Portland home Thursday evening, his wife, Mona, told reporters, "as you can imagine, today has been quite dramatic. My husband is a good man, a good father, a good husband. It's just unfair. It's unfair to myself and it is unfair to my children."
She said her husband is 37, and that the two have three children, two boys ages 10 and 15 and a girl, aged 12. Her husband was born in the small Oregon coastal community of Coos Bay, she said, and he is a former Army officer.
His undergraduate degree is from Portland State University, she said, and his law degree is from Lewis & Clark University in Portland. Mayfield passed the Oregon bar in 2000, according to the Oregon Bar Association.
He converted to Islam in 1989 and attends a mosque in nearby Beaverton.
Neighbors Arlene Witt, 71, and her husband, Roy Witt, also 71, said the Mayfields have been a pleasure. They used to exchange cookies, and the Witt's grandchildren would play ball with the Mayfield children over the back fence.
"A kind of shock went through me," said Arlene Witt, "There is no safe place anymore. We've tried to be neighborly and they've been friendly."
Arlene Witt said the Mayfields didn't do anything in particular that was suspicious. But their Muslim dress and children's names, Shane, Sharia and Samir, stood out.
Portland attorney Tom Nelson, who described himself as Mayfield's friend and mentor, said Thursday afternoon that he received a call from Mayfield Thursday, pleading for help. Nelson said Mayfield would be represented by a public defender.
"His wife was in tears because of the way the search was conducted. The FBI apparently hurt things in the house, left things in disarray," Nelson told reporters outside Mayfield's home. "He is a regular run-of-the-mill guy."
Nelson also said Mayfield had never traveled to Spain.
Material witness warrants, usually kept confidential by a federal judge, are used by the government to hold people suspected of having direct knowledge about a crime or to allow time for further investigation into the witness. Suspects may be held indefinitely without formal charges.
Originally posted by bman@May 7 2004, 12:11 PM as i pointed out earlier..it is your insane leader (Curious George Bush) that has ties to terrorism..not me!
True story: I have a friend who works secret service for Bill Clinton. In the year 2002 he went to Saudi Arabia to meet with the Prince and others, not to give a speech or lecture but walked away from his behind closed door meeting with a cool million. Whose in bed with the Saudi's?