2004 Madrid train bombings
|This article is outdated. (December 2010)|
|March 2004 Madrid Train Bombings|
|Date||11 March 2004
07:30 – 08:00 (UTC+01:00)
|Target||Madrid Commuter Train System|
|Attack type||Mass murder; terrorism; Backpack bombs|
The Madrid train bombings (also known in Spain as 11-M) were nearly simultaneous, coordinated bombings against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid, Spain on the morning of 11 March 2004 – three days before Spain's general elections. The explosions killed 191 people and wounded 1,800. The official investigation by the Spanish judiciary found that the attacks were directed by an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell, although no direct al-Qaeda participation has been established. Though they had no role in the planning or implementation, the Spanish miners who sold the explosives to the terrorists were also arrested.
Controversy regarding the handling and representation of the bombings by the government arose, with Spain's two main political parties (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and Partido Popular (PP)), accusing each other of concealing or distorting evidence for electoral reasons. The bombings occurred three days before general elections in which incumbent José María Aznar's PP was defeated. Immediately after the bombing leaders of the PP claimed evidence indicating the Basque separatist organization ETA was responsible for the bombings,[verification needed] while Islamist responsibility would have had the opposite effect,[verification needed] as it would have been seen as a consequence of the PP government taking Spain into the Iraq War, a policy very unpopular with Spaniards.
Nationwide demonstrations and protests followed the attacks. The predominant view among political analysts is that the Aznar administration lost the general elections as a result of the handling and representation of the terrorist attacks, rather than because of the bombings per se.
After 21 months of investigation, judge Juan del Olmo ruled Moroccan national Jamal Zougam guilty of carrying out the attack. The September 2007 sentence established no known mastermind nor direct al-Qaeda link.
Description of the bombings 
During the peak of Madrid rush hour on the morning of Thursday, 11 March 2004, ten explosions occurred aboard four commuter trains (cercanías). The date led to the popular abbreviation of the incident as "11-M". All the affected trains were traveling on the same line and in the same direction between Alcalá de Henares and the Atocha station in Madrid. It was later reported that thirteen improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been placed on the trains. Bomb disposal teams (TEDAX) arriving at the scenes of the explosions detonated two of the remaining three IEDs in controlled explosions, but the third was not found until later in the evening, having been stored inadvertently with luggage taken from one of the trains. The following time-line of events comes from the judicial investigation.
All four trains had departed the Alcalá de Henares station between 07:01 and 07:14. The explosions took place between 07:37 and 07:40, as described below (all timings given are in local time CET, UTC +1):
- Atocha Station (train number 21431) – Three bombs exploded. Based on the video recording from the station security system, the first bomb exploded at 07:37, and two others exploded within 4 seconds of each other at 07:38.
- El Pozo del Tío Raimundo Station (train number 21435) – At approximately 07:38, just as the train was starting to leave the station, two bombs exploded in different carriages.
- Santa Eugenia Station (train number 21713) – One bomb exploded at approximately 07:38.
- Calle Téllez (train number 17305), approximately 800 meters from Atocha Station – Four bombs exploded in different carriages of the train at approximately 07:39.
At 08:00, emergency relief workers began arriving at the scenes of the bombings. The police reported numerous victims and spoke of 50 wounded and several dead. By 08:30 the emergency ambulance service, SAMUR (Servicio de Asistencia Municipal de Urgencia y Rescate), had set up a field hospital at the Daoiz y Velarde sports facility. Bystanders and local residents helped relief workers, as hospitals were told to expect the arrival of many casualties. At 08:43, fire fighters reported 15 dead at El Pozo. By 09:00, the police had confirmed the death of at least 30 people – 20 at El Pozo and about 10 in Santa Eugenia and Atocha.
The total number of deaths was 191. There were victims from 17 countries: 142 Spanish, 16 Romanians, 6 Ecuadorians, 4 Poles, 4 Bulgarians, 3 Peruvians, 2 Dominicans, 2 Colombians, 2 Moroccans, 2 Ukrainians, 2 Hondurans, 1 Senegalese, 1 Cuban, 1 Chilean, 1 Brazilian, 1 French, and 1 Filipino.
The total number of victims was higher than in any other terrorist attack in Spain, far surpassing the 21 killed and 40 wounded from a 1987 bombing at a Hipercor chain supermarket in Barcelona. On that occasion, responsibility was claimed by the Basque terrorist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna ("Basque Fatherland and Liberty", or ETA). It was the worst incident of this kind in Europe since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.
Further bombings spur investigation 
A device composed of 12 kilograms of Goma-2 ECO with a detonator and 136 meters of wire (connected to nothing) was found on the track of a high-speed train (AVE) on 2 April. The Spanish judiciary chose not to investigate that incident and the perpetrators remain unknown. The device used in the AVE incident was unable to explode because it lacked an initiation system.
Shortly after the AVE incident, police identified an apartment in Leganés, south of Madrid, as the base of operations for the individuals suspected of being the perpetrators of the Madrid and AVE attacks. The suspected militants, headed by Jamal Zougam, Serhane Abdelmaji "the Tunisian" and Jamal Ahmidan "the Chinese", were trapped inside the apartment by a police raid on the evening of Saturday 3 April. At 9:03 pm, when the police started to assault the premises, the militants committed suicide by setting off explosives, killing themselves and one of the police officers. Investigators subsequently found that the explosives used in the Leganés explosion were of the same type as those used in the 11 March attacks (though it had not been possible to identify a brand of dynamite from samples taken from the trains) and in the thwarted bombing of the AVE line.
Based on the assumption that the militants killed at Leganés were indeed the individuals responsible for the train bombings, the ensuing investigation focused on how they obtained their estimated 200 kg of explosives. The investigation revealed that they had been bought from a retired miner who still had access to blasting equipment.
Five to eight suspects believed to be involved in the 11 March attacks managed to escape. In December 2006, the newspaper ABC reported that ETA reminded Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero about 11 March 2004 as an example of what could happen unless the Government considered their petitions (in reference to the 2004 electoral swing), although the source also makes it clear that ETA 'had nothing to do' with the attack itself.
On 25 March 2005 prosecutor Olga Sánchez asserted that the bombings happened 911 days after the 11 September attacks due to the "highly symbolic and qabbalistic charge for local al-Qaida groups" of choosing that day. Because 2004 was a leap year, 912 days had passed between 11 September 2001 and 11 March 2004.
On 27 May 2005 the Prüm Convention, implementing inter alia the principle of availability which began to be discussed after the Madrid bombings, was signed by Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, and Belgium.
On 4 January 2007 El País reported that Algerian Daoud Ouhnane, who is considered to be the mastermind of the 11-M bombings, has been searching for ways to return to Spain to prepare further attacks, though this has not been confirmed.
On 17 March 2008 Basel Ghalyoun, Mohamed Almallah Dabas, Abdelillah El-Fadual El-Akil and Raúl González Peña, having been previously found guilty by the Audiencia Nacional, were released after a Higher Court ruling. This court also verified the release of the Egyptian Rabei Osman al-Sayed.
The Spanish judiciary stated that a loose group of Moroccan, Syrian, and Algerian Muslims and two Guardia Civil and Spanish police informants were suspected of having carried out the attacks. On 11 April 2006, Judge Juan del Olmo charged 29 suspects for their involvement in the train bombings.
No evidence has been found of al-Qaeda involvement, although an al-Qaeda claim was made the day of the attacks by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades. U.S. officials note that this group is "notoriously unreliable". In August 2007, al-Qaeda claimed to be "proud" about the Madrid 2004 bombings.
The Independent reported that "Those who invented the new kind of rucksack bomb used in the attacks are said to have been taught in training camps in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, under instruction from members of Morocco's radical Islamist Combat Group."
Mohamed Darif, a professor of political science at Hassan II University in Mohammedia, stated in 2004 that the history of the Moroccan Combat Group is directly tied to the rise of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. According to Darif, "Since its inception at the end of the 1990s and until 2001, the role of the organisation was restricted to giving logistic support to al-Qaeda in Morocco, finding its members places to live, providing them with false papers, with the opportunity of marrying Moroccans and with false identities to allow them to travel to Europe. Since 11 September, however, which brought the Kingdom of Morocco in on the side of the fight against terrorism, the organisation switched strategies and opted for terrorist attacks within Morocco itself."
Scholar Rogelio Alonso said in 2007, "the investigation had uncovered a link between the Madrid suspects and the wider world of al-Qaida". Scott Atran said "There isn't the slightest bit of evidence of any relationship with al-Qaida. We've been looking at it closely for years and we've been briefed by everybody under the sun... and nothing connects them." He provides a detailed timeline that lends credence to this view.
According to the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, this is the only Islamist terrorist act in the history of Europe where international Islamists collaborated with non-Muslims.
Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar said in 2011 that Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and current head of the Tripoli Military Council, was suspected of complicity in the bombings.
Allegations of ETA involvement 
Immediate reactions to the attacks in Madrid were the several press conferences held by the Spanish president José María Aznar, the government involving ETA. The Spanish government maintained this theory for two days. Because the bombs were three days before the general elections in Spain, the situation had many political interpretations. The massacre also took place exactly two and a half years after the 11 September attacks on the United States in 2001. Other interpretations of this date since 9/11 points out that the bombing took place 911 days exactly since the 11 September terrorist attack. The United States also initially believed ETA was responsible, then questioning if Islamists were responsible. Spain's third largest newspaper ABC, immediately labelled the attacks as "ETA's bloodiest attack."
Due to the government theory, statements issued shortly after the Madrid attacks, including from lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe identified ETA as the prime suspect, but the group, which usually claims responsibility for its actions, denied any wrongdoing. Later evidence strongly pointed to the involvement of extremist Islamist groups, with the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group named as a focus of investigations.
Although ETA has a history of mounting bomb attacks in Madrid, the 11 March attacks exceeded any attack previously attempted by a European organisation. This led some experts to point out that the tactics used were more typical of Islamist militant extremist groups, perhaps with a certain link to al-Qaeda, or maybe to a new generation of ETA activists using al-Qaeda as a role model. Observers also noted that ETA customarily, but not always, issues warnings before its mass bombings and that there had been no warning for this attack. Europol director Jürgen Storbeck commented that the bombings "could have been ETA.... But we're dealing with an attack that doesn't correspond to the modus operandi they have adopted up to now".
Political analysts believe ETA's guilt would have strengthened the PP's chances of being re-elected, as this would have been regarded as the death throes of a terrorist organisation reduced to desperate measures by the strong anti-terrorist policy of the Aznar administration. On the other hand, an Islamist attack would have been perceived as the direct result of Spain's involvement in Iraq, an unpopular war that had not been approved by the Spanish Parliament.
All of the devices are thought to have been hidden inside backpacks. The police investigated reports of three people in ski masks getting on and off the trains several times at Alcalá de Henares between 7:00 and 7:10. A Renault Kangoo van was found parked outside the station at Alcalá de Henares containing detonators, audio tapes with Qur'anic verses, and cell phones.
The provincial chief of TEDAX (the bomb disposal experts of the Spanish police) declared on 12 July 2004 that damage in the trains could not be caused by dynamite, but by some type of military explosive, like C3 or C4. An unnamed source from the Aznar administration claimed that the explosive used in the attacks had been Titadine (used by ETA, and intercepted on its way to Madrid 11 days before).
In March 2007 TEDAX chief claimed that they knew that the unexploded explosive found in the Kangoo van was Goma-2 ECO the very day of the bombings. He also asserted that "it is impossible to know" the components of the explosives that went off in the trains – though he later asserted that it was dynamite. The Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez replied "I cannot understand" to these assertions.
Examination of unexploded devices 
A radio report mentioned a plastic explosive called "Special C". However, the government said that the explosive found in an unexploded device, discovered among bags thought to be victims' lost luggage, was the Spanish made Goma-2 ECO. The unexploded device contained 10 kg (22 lb) of explosive with 1 kg (2.2 lb) of nails and screws packed around it as shrapnel. In the aftermath of the attacks, however, the chief coroner alleged that no shrapnel was found in any of the victims.
Goma-2 ECO was never before used by al-Qaeda, but the explosive and the modus operandi were described by The Independent as ETA trademarks, although the Daily Telegraph came to the opposite conclusion.
Two bombs—one in Atocha and another one in El Pozo stations, numbers 11 and 12—were detonated accidentally by the TEDAX. According to the provincial chief of the TEDAX, deactivated rucksacks contained some other type of explosive. The 13th bomb, which was transferred to a police station, contained dynamite, although it did not explode because it was missing two wires connecting the explosives to the detonator. That bomb used a mobile phone (Mitsubishi Trium) as a timer, requiring a SIM card to activate the alarm and thereby detonate. The analysis of the SIM card allowed the police to arrest an alleged perpetrator. On Saturday, 13 March, when three Moroccans and two Pakistani Muslims were arrested for the attacks, it was confirmed that the attacks came from an Islamic group. Only one of the five persons (the Moroccan Jamal Zougam) detained that day was finally prosecuted.
Suicide of suspects 
On 3 April 2004, in Leganés, south Madrid, four terrorists died in an apparent suicide explosion, killing one Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO) (Spanish special police assault unit) police officer and wounding eleven policemen. According to witnesses and media, between five and eight suspects escaped that day.
Security forces carried out a controlled explosion of a suspicious package found near the Atocha station and subsequently deactivated the two undetonated devices on the Téllez train. A third unexploded device was later brought from the station at El Pozo to a police station in Vallecas, and became a central piece of evidence for the investigation. It appears that the El Pozo bomb failed to detonate because a cell-phone alarm used to trigger the bomb was set 12 hours late.
Conspiracy theories 
Sectors of the People's Party (PP), and certain media, such as El Mundo newspaper and the COPE radio station, continue to support theories relating the attack to a vast conspiracy to remove the governing party from power. Support for the conspiracy was also given by the Asociación de Víctimas del Terrorismo (AVT), Spain's largest association of victims of terrorism.
These theories speculate that ETA and members of the security forces and national and foreign (Morocco) secret services were involved in the bombings. Defenders of the claims that ETA participated in some form in the 11 March attacks have affirmed that there is circumstantial evidence linking the Islamists with two ETA members who were detained while driving the outskirts of Madrid in a van containing 500 kg of explosives 11 days before the train bombings. The Madrid judge Coro Cillán is continuing to hear conspiracy theory cases, including one accusing government officials of ordering the scrapping of the bombed train cars in order to destroy evidence.
Judge Juan del Olmo found "local cells of Islamic extremists inspired through the Internet" guilty for the 11 March attacks, not Armed Islamic Group or Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. These local cells consist of hash traffickers of Moroccan origin, remotely linked to an al-Qaeda cell that had been already captured. These groups bought the explosives (dynamite Goma-2 ECO) from low-level thieves, police and Guardia Civil confidants in Asturias using money from the small-scale drug trafficking.
According to El Mundo, "the notes on the Moroccan confidant 'Cartagena' prove that the Police had the leaders of the cell responsible for the 11 March attacks under surveillance." However, none of the notes refer to the preparation of any terrorist attack.
The trial of 29 accused began on 15 February 2007. According to El País, "the Court dismantled one by one all conspiracy theories" and demonstrated that any link or implication of the bombings with ETA was either misleading or without any foundation. During the trial the defendants withdrew their previous declarations and denied any involvement. According to El Mundo the questions about "who, why, when and where were the Madrid train attacks planified" are still "open", because the alleged masterminds of the attacks were absolved. El Mundo also claimed -among other misgivings- that the Spanish Judiciary reached "scientifically unsound" conclusions about the kind of explosives used in the trains, and that no direct al-Qaeda link was found, thus "debunking the key argument of the official version". Self-declared expert Scott Atran, an anthropologist by trade, described the Madrid trial as "a complete farce" pointing at the fact that "There isn't the slightest bit of evidence of any operational relationship with al-Qaida". Instead, "The overwhelming majority of [terrorist cells] in Europe have nothing to do with al-Qaida other than a vague relationship of ideology."
Though the trial proceeded smoothly in its opening months, 14 of the 29 accused mounted a hunger strike in May, protesting against the alleged "unfair" role of political parties and media in the legal proceedings. Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez refused to suspend the trial despite the strike, and the hunger strikers ended their fast on 21 May.
The last audience of the trial was held on 2 July 2007. Transcripts and videos of the audiences are visible on datadiar.tv.
On 31 October 2007, the Audiencia Nacional of Spain delivered its verdicts. Of the 28 defendants in the trial, 21 were found guilty on a range of charges from forgery to murder. Two of the defendants were sentenced each to more than 40,000 years in prison.
Police surveillance and informants 
In the investigations carried out after the bombings to find out what went wrong in the security services, many individual negligences and miscoordinations between different branches of the police were found. The group dealing with Islamist extremists was very small and in spite of having carried out some surveillances, they were unable to stop the bombings. Also some of the criminals involved in the "Little Mafia" who provided the explosives were police informants and had leaked to their case officers some tips that were not followed up on.
The authorship of the bombings remains a controversial issue in Spain. Sectors of the Partido Popular (PP) and some of the PP-friendly media outlets (primarily El Mundo and the Cadena COPE radio station) claim that there are inconsistencies and contradictions in the Spanish judicial investigation.
As Spanish and international investigations continue to claim the unlikeliness of ETA's active implication, these claims have shifted from direct accusations involving the Basque terrorist organization to less specific insinuations and general skepticism. Additionally, there is controversy over the events that took place between the bombings and the general elections held three days later.
In the aftermath of the bombings there were massive street demonstrations across Spain to protest against the train bombings. The international reaction was also notable, as the scale of the attack became clearer.
The emotional state of fear of those days in Madrid was the basis for a scientific work which showed the association between emotional states of fear and premature rupture of membranes at term. Four years later in 2008, the popular music group La Oreja de Van Gogh released their album A las cinco en el Astoria with a song titled "Jueves", that served as a remembrance to this tragic incident.
See also 
Specifically about the 2004 Madrid bombings 
- Atocha station memorial
- Brandon Mayfield, wrongfully identified via fingerprints
- Casualties of the 2004 Madrid bombings
- Controversies about the 2004 Madrid train bombings
- Forest of Remembrance
- Reactions to the 2004 Madrid train bombings
- José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
- 2004 Madrid train bombings suspects
- Rabei Osman
- List of terrorist incidents involving railway systems
- 7 July 2005 London bombings
- 2006 Ontario terrorism plot
- El Mundo (Spanish)
- Judgment of the attacks. El país, 2008.
- Al Qaeda claimed the attacks. 20 minutos, 2007.
- "Spanish Indictment on the investigation of 11 March". El Mundo (in Spanish). Spain. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Oneill, Sean (15 February 2007). "Spain furious as US blocks access to Madrid bombing 'chief'". The Times (London). Retrieved 16 February 2010. "The al-Qaeda leader who created, trained and directed the terrorist cell that carried out the Madrid train bombings has been held in a CIA "ghost prison" for more than a year"
- The Independent article:"While the bombers may have been inspired by bin Laden, a two-year investigation into the attacks has found no evidence that al-Qa'ida helped plan, finance or carry out the bombings, or even knew about them in advance."
- "Madrid Bombing Suspect Denies Guilt", The New York Times, 15 February 2007: "The cell was inspired by al-Qaida but had no direct links to it, nor did it receive financing from Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, Spanish investigators say"[dead link]
- Al Qaeda, Madrid bombs not linked: Spanish probe, listed at borrull.org[dead link]
- "Islam and terrorism". International Institute for Strategic Studies. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- The Jamestown Foundation[dead link] Archived 22 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
- "Madrid: The Aftermath: Spain admits bombs were the work of Islamists". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 1 May 2009.
- Lago, I. (Universidad Pompeu Fabra) Del 11-M al 14-M: Los mecanismos del cambio electoral.[dead link] Pgs 12–13. Archived 23 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
- "Selected bibliography on political analysis of the 11-M aftermath". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- 92% of the Spanish population expressed its disagreement with the intervention Clarin.com (Spanish)
- Cf. Meso Ayeldi, K. "Teléfonos móviles e Internet, nuevas tecnologías para construir un espacio público contrainformativo: El ejemplo de los flash mob en la tarde del 13M" Universidad de La Laguna (Spanish)
- El Periódico – 11M Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- El Periódico – 11M Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- El Periódico – 11M Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- 31 March 2004 – (31 March 2004). "Madrid Bombings and U.S. Policy – Brookings". Brookings.edu. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Del Olmo sólo tiene ya un presunto autor material del 11-M para sentar en el banquillo / EL MUNDO". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Barrett, Jane (31 October 2007). "The biggest surprise was that two men originally accused of planning the attack were convicted only of belonging to a terrorist group, not of the Madrid killings... 'We're very surprised by the acquittal,' said Jose Maria de Pablos, spokesman for a victims' association. 'If it wasn't them, we have to find out who it was. Somebody gave the order.'". Reuters. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "ETA, Irak, Zougam, el explosivo... y otras claves de la sentencia del 11-M". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "El 11-M se queda sin autores intelectuales al quedar absueltos los tres acusados de serlo". El Mundo. Spain. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "El final del principio en la investigación del 11-M". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "El tribunal del 11-M desbarata la tesis clave de la versión oficial en su sentencia". El Mundo. Spain. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Sound of the second wave of bombs recorded in a cellular phone conversation (Spanish)
- Judicial Indictment – Downloadable in Spanish (Spanish)
- The Terror Web (The NewYorker) Archived 4 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "',Archivan las investigaciones sobre el intento de atentado contra el AVE',". Libertaddigital.com. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Suspected Madrid bombing ringleader killed (CNN)
- "Madrid bomb cell neutralised (BBC Europe)". BBC News. 14 April 2004. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Madrid bombing suspects". BBC News. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
- ABC.es (Spanish)
- "France raises alert to orange". BBC News. 12 March 2004. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- The Terrorist Threat to the Italian Elections (Jamestown)[dead link] Archived 23 June 2007 at WebCite
- Aznar "wiped files on Madrid bombings", The Guardian, Tuesday 14 December 2004 via an article in El País
- Un factor "cabalístico" en la elección de la fecha de la matanza en los trenes, "El País", 2005 March 10 (Spanish)
- El País El argelino huido tras perpetrar el 11-M preparaba nuevos atentados en España El País, 4 January 2007 (Spanish)
- Metronieuws.nl[dead link] (Dutch)
- Guillermo Peris Peris (17 July 2008). "El TS absuelve a cuatro procesados del 11-M por falta de pruebas y un error en un registro ordenado por Del Olmo". Diario Siglo XXI. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Tribunal Supremo concluye vista de recursos contra sentencia atentados 11-M". ADN.es. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Full text: 'Al-Qaeda' Madrid claim". BBC News. 14 March 2004. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
- The Times Bomb squad link in Spanish blast
- Rafá Zouhier was a confident of the Guardia Civil before, during and after the bombings.... José Emilio Suárez Trashorras was also a police confident -Rafá Zohuier era confidente de la Guardia Civil antes, durante y después de los atentados.... José Emilio Suárez Trashorras.... También era confidente de la policía- (Spanish)
- "The two key collaborators of the Madrid train bombings were police confidents" (Spanish)
- "Suspects indicted in Madrid train attacks (OnlineNewsHous)". Pbs.org. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Font size Print E-mail Share By Francie Grace (11 March 2004). "CBS News. Madrid Massacre Probe Widens". CBS News. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Al Qaeda dice sentirse 'orgullosa' de la destrucción que afectó a Madrid el 11-M". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Elizabeth Nash (7 November 2006). "Madrid bombers 'were inspired by bin Laden address'". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Mohamed Darif (30 March 2004). "The Moroccan Combat Group (PDF)" (PDF). Real Instituto Elcano. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- "The worst Islamist attack in European history". The Guardian (UK). 31 October 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Paul Hamilos in Madrid, Mark Tran and agencies (31 October 2007). "21 guilty, seven cleared over Madrid train bombings". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Jason Burke (24 October 2010). "Talking to the Enemy by Scott Atran – A Review by Jason Burke". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- PDF (French) "Until now, there has never been any example of a terrorist action by international Islamist made in collaboration with non-muslims." French original: Il n'y a d'ailleurs à ce jour aucun example d'une action terroriste menée par des islamistes internationalistes en collaboration avec des non musulmans[dead link]
- José María Aznar (9 December 2011). "Spain's Former Prime Minister José María Aznar on the Arab Awakening and How the West Should React". CNBC Guest Blog. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Dore Gold (14 December 2011). "Diplomacy after the Arab uprisings". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- http://220.127.116.11/cable/2004/03/04MADRID827.html[dead link]
- http://18.104.22.168/cable/2004/03/04MADRID893.html[dead link]
- ETA comete el atentado más sangriento de su historia, ABC, 11 March 2004
- "Voters Oust Spanish Government", CBS News "On Sunday, a Basque-language daily published a statement by ETA in which the group for a second time denied involvement in the attacks." Archived 24 June 2007 at WebCite
- "BBC on preparations for the trial". BBC News. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Font size Print E-mail Share By Francie Grace (11 March 2004). "Madrid Massacre Probe Widens". CBS News. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Ewen MacAskill and Richard Norton-Taylor (12 March 2004). "From Bali to Madrid, attackers seek to inflict ever-greater casualties". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Spain Campaigned to Pin Blame on ETA". The Washington Post. 17 March 2004. Retrieved 5 May 2011.[dead link]
- Los TEDAX revisaron "dos veces" todos los vagones del 11-M sin encontrar Goma 2 ni la mochila de Vallecas (Libertad Digital) (Spanish)[dead link]
- CBS News: Madrid Massacre Probe Widens. Madrid, 11 March 2004 "The bombers used titadine, a kind of compressed dynamite also found in a bomb-laden van intercepted last month as it headed for Madrid, a source at Aznar's office said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Officials blamed ETA then, too."
- El 11M se supo que el explosivo era Goma 2 ECO Archived 22 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "El ex jefe de Tedax reconoce que sus análisis dejaron 'interrogantes' sobre el explosivo". El Mundo. Spain. 14 March 2007. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Millions rally in anger at Madrid bombers (Daily Telegraph)
- "',"Ni clavos, ni tuercas, ni tornillos; no había metralla entre nuestros 191 muertos"',". Libertaddigital.com. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Madrid: The Aftermath: Spain admits bombs were the work of Islamists "For the first time in its history al-Qa'ida has used not the cheap and primitive fertiliser-based bombs familiar in attacks from Yemen to Istanbul, but Goma 2 ECO gelignite, detonated by mobile phones. This sophisticated twin technique has previously been the trademark of ETA, the Basque separatist group."[dead link]
- La Policía encuentra una decimotercera mochila bomba en la comisaría de Puente de Vallecas (El Mundo) (Spanish)
- El Mundo (Spanish)
- Libertad digital, los enigmas del 11-M 6. Las primeras detenciones Las detenciones de los hindúes (Spanish)
- Al Qaeda reivindica los atentados en un vídeo hallado en Madrid (El Mundo) (Spanish)
- El Mundo (Spanish)
- Ghosh, Aparisim (14 March 2004). "A Strike at Europe's Heart". Time. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Spain’s 11-M and the right’s revenge (Open Democracy)
- Zaplana claims PSOE "afraid that the truth will come out", The Spain Herald, 30 March 2005. Recovered from the Internet Archive.
- Los agujeros negros del 11-M El Mundo, 19 April 2004. Article defending a number of conspiracy theories related to the bombings. (Spanish)
- Madrid: The Aftermath: Spain admits bombs were the work of Islamists "Connections have also been drawn between the drivers of a van found on the outskirts of Madrid on 29 February containing 500 kg of explosive and the Islamists: the two men in the van are alleged to be members of ETA, and also to have been among a group of Basques who expressed strong support for Iraq against the Anglo-American invasion. But so far the evidence does not go beyond the circumstantial." Retrieved 1 September 2009. Archived 4 September 2009.
- El País 31 January 2012 edition (Madrid newspaper)
- El auto de procesamiento por el 11-M (El Mundo) (Spanish)
- Crumley, Bruce (13 March 2005). "Across the Divide". Time. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Las notas del confidente marroquí 'Cartagena' prueban que la Policía controlaba a la cúpula del 11-M (El Mundo) (Spanish)
- Comienza en Madrid el juicio por el mayor atentado islamista registrado en Europa, El País, 15 February 2007 (Spanish)
- El Morabit niega ahora haber sido avisado de los atentados del 11-M, El Mundo, 20 February 2007 (Spanish)
- "Madrid bombing 'mastermind' protests innocence", 15 February 2007, 1:59 pm ET Agence France-Presse, MyWire.com (English)
- ETA, Irak, Zougam, el explosivo... y otras claves de la sentencia del 11-M (Spanish)
- El 11-M se queda sin autores intelectuales al quedar absueltos los tres acusados de serlo (Spanish)
- Guía para abordar la sentencia del 11-M (Spanish)
- El final del principio en la investigación del 11-M (Spanish)
- El tribunal del 11-M desbarata la tesis clave de la versión oficial en su sentencia (Spanish)
- The Madrid bombing trial blog Madrid11.net[dead link]
- "Transcripts and videos of the Madrid trial". Datadiar.tv. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Barrett, Jane (31 October 2007). "Court finds 21 guilty of Madrid bombings". Reuters. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
- James Sturcke and agencies (31 October 2007). "List of sentenced defendants". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Spain: State Funeral For Madrid Bombing Victims Gathers World Leaders" Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: "The main suspect remains Moroccan Jamal Zougam, who allegedly had close ties to Islamist militants and who has been under watch by Spanish, French, and Moroccan agents since 2001"
- "Spanish investigators confident" "The lead suspect is Jamal Zougam, who allegedly has close ties with Islamist militants and has been under watch by Spanish, French and Moroccan agents since 2001 at least."
- Un inspector asegura que perseguían a varios de los acusados desde enero de 2003, ABC: "An inspector assures that several accused were being pursued since January 2003"
- "The notes of the Moroccan confident 'Cartagena' prove that the Police had the 3/11 leadership under surveillance". El Mundo. Spain. 21 February 2004. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Madrid bombing accused 'under watch since 2002'". Expatica.com. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "34 over 40 alleged perpetrators were controlled by the Police". El Mundo. Spain. 24 April 2006. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- 11-M: ¿Culpa in vigilando? "Police made a follow-up on the prosecuted, due to his condition of being suspects of Islamic terrorists. De los acusados... la policía venía haciendo un seguimiento por su calidad de sospechosos de ser terroristas islámicos" Archived 23 June 2007 at WebCite
- ABC "Rafa Zouhier. Confident of the Civil Guard...Rafa Zouhier. Confidente de la Guardia Civil..."
- "Rafá Zouhier was a confident of the Guardia Civil before, during and after the bombings... he do not inform about the preparations. José Emilio Suárez Trashorras was a National Police confident about guns, explosive and drug smugling- ',Rafá Zohuier era confidente de la Guardia Civil antes, durante y después de los atentados... no informó sobre los preparativos... José Emilio Suárez Trashorras... era confidente de la Policía Nacional',". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "The two key collaborators of the Madrid train bombings were police confidents". El Mundo. Spain. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- El Mundo[dead link] (Spanish) Archived 24 June 2007 at WebCite
-  (Spanish)
- Newspaper Spat Over Madrid Bombs Conspiracy The Guardian
- "Spanish Terrogate", National Review
- Millions pack Madrid's streets CNN
- Santos Leal, Emilio; Odent, Michel R; Vidart Aragon JA, Coronado Martin P, Herraiz Martinez MA (December 2006). "Premature Rupture of Membranes and Madrid Terrorist Attack". Birth 33 (4): 341. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536X.2006.00136_1.x.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 2004 Madrid train bombings|
- Commuter rail map[dead link]
- 2004 Madrid train bombings in the Newseum archive of front page images from 2004-03-12.
In English 
- BBC News In Depth
- CNN In-Depth Specials[dead link]
- U.N. Security Council Resolution 1530
- Weekly coverage of the trial on Madrid11.net
- Madrid: UN's Credibility Critically Wounded
- Spanish Reporters: Government Silenced the Truth About the Attacks
- context – Terrorism's Future, Rahul Mahajan[dead link]
- A translation of Juan Carlos I's and Prime Minister Aznar's speeches to the nation, 11 March 2004
- Remembering 11 March: The Madrid Bombings and Their Effect on Spanish Government, Society and the Antiwar Movement – Broadcast by Democracy Now! on 23 November 2004.
- PBS TV Frontline Video – see Chapter 1 of Al Qaeda's New Front
- Real Instituto Elcano – Framing of the 3/11 attacks and electoral accountability
- JihadMonitor.org Spanish Open Sources Project on Jihadist Terrorism
- The Times Bomb squad link in Spanish blast
- Complete list of defendants with the final sentences
Disputing statements made by Spanish government and judiciary 
- Spain’s “Terrorgate”?, National Review.
- Madrid's vanished horror, The Guardian – opinion piece written by deputy editor of El Mundo.
- Winds of Change.net
- Spain’s 11-M and the right’s revenge, openDemocracy.
- Popular peevishness, The Economist.
- Two years on, parties at odds over blame, Financial Times.
In Spanish 
- Jugement of 11-M ELPAÍS.com
- 11-M ELPAÍS.com
- Commission of 11-M ELPAÍS.com
- One year of 11-M ELPAÍS.com
- 11-M ELPAÍS.com
- Graphic of the 29 people indicted (21 sentenced)
- Spanish Judiciary Indictment.
- El Mundo Special.
- Timeline by El Mundo.
- List of official government statements by Cadena SER, and editorial article
- Victims' profiles by El País and Cadena Ser
- Listen to Cadena Ser throughout 11-M
- Selected bibliography on political analyses of the 11-M aftermath.
Disputing statements made by Spanish government and judiciary 
- Especial de Telemadrid emitido el 9 de marzo de 2006[dead link]
- Antonio Rubio, Las notas del confidente 'Cartagena' prueban que la Policía controlaba a la cúpula del 11-M, El Mundo, 31 May 2005
- Spanish Police Union CEP[dead link] ("Confederación Española de Policía") media interventions doubting the Indictment. The CEP also supported "Peones Negros" demonstrations Libertaddigital.es (Spanish)
- AVT webpage Asociación de Víctimas del Terrorismo, Spanish Association of Victims of Terrorism.
- Web de la plataforma ciudadana Peones Negros por la verdad del 11M
- Desiertos Lejanos – Crítica a las teorías conspirativas
- Enrique de Diego, Las falsedades de la tesis de la conspiración del 11-M
- Enrique de Diego, 11M y teorías conspirativas: cui prodest? y preguntas...