[JURIST] A suspected mastermind of the 2004 Madrid bombings [JURIST news archive] appeared in an Italian court Tuesday for an initial hearing as his trial on terror charges begins. Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed [CBC profile], along with an alleged accomplice, faces charges of subversive association aimed at international terrorism, a new charge introduced in Italy following the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the US. The start of trial appeared in doubt after Ahmed's lawyer did not appear, but Judge Luigi Cerqua appointed another lawyer to represent Ahmed during the initial hearing. Italian prosecutors have alleged [JURIST report] that Ahmed, an Egyptian, helped orchestrate the Madrid attacks and later sought to recruit more extremists in Milan, where he was arrested [JURIST report] three months after the bombings. AP has more. AGI has local coverage.