The Unusual Suspect

European counter-terrorism officials generally agree that alleged Madrid bombing co-conspirator Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed was plotting something new when they nabbed the 32-year-old in Milan last week. But what, precisely, was Ahmed up to?

After Ahmed's arrest, Italian and Spanish officials described him as a mastermind of the Madrid attacks. But French officials tell TIME that while evidence ties the radical — known as "Mohammed the Egyptian", although he is probably Moroccan — to the bombings, his exact role is unclear. They also refute as "empty" reports claiming Ahmed and fellow jihadists were moving to strike against...

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