The terrorists responsible for last year's Madrid bombings used at least one genuine ID document stolen from the Spanish Mint, according to a report in elconfidencial.com (Spanish language). Spain, according to UK Immigration Minister Des Browne, regards ID cards as valuable in the fight against terrorism, but this ID was one of a batch of 300 stolen from the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (FNMT), which prints banknotes, passports and IDs, in November 2002.
Around 40 of the stolen cards are still thought to be missing, says elconfidencial, quoting a report by the Spanish police's Unidad Central de Intelligencia (UCI, Central Intelligence Unit). The card was seized among the possessions of of Moroccan Jamal Ahmidan, who is accused of renting (using a fake Belgian passport) the house where the Madrid bombs were made. The ID card, for a resident alien, bore Ahmidan's picture, but the data was for another Moroccan, Othman El Gnaout, who is also accused of involvement in the attacks. Police seem to have thought initially that they were onto a major document faking network, before the trail led back to the mint.
Other recent news on the efficacy of ID cards comes from Nigeria, where reports claim that "millions of aliens" in Adamawa State have succeeded in registering for the National ID Card scheme. Minister of Internal Affairs Dr Iyorchia Ayu has called for ID card distribution in Adamawa to be strictly monitored. It may also be worth noting that several of the terror suspects the UK has been releasing, subject to tagging and monitoring, over the past 24 hours appear, according to the Home Office, to have arrived in the UK using false ID - there does seem to be quite a lot of this about.
(Thanks to Arturo for the Spanish link and translation, and to the No2ID Blog for the Nigerian blooper.) ®