Controversies about the 2004 Madrid train bombings

2004 Madrid train bombings controversiesconspiracy theories regarding the Madrid train bombingsconspiracy theories vis-à-vis the authorship of the 11-M train bombingsControversy regarding the handling and representation of the bombingsmisinformationpolitical controversythe 2004 Madrid train bombings
The controversy regarding the handling and representation of the Madrid train 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.wikipedia
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2004 Madrid train bombings

Madrid train bombings11 March 2004 Madrid train bombingsMadrid
The controversy regarding the handling and representation of the Madrid train 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.
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.

2004 Spanish general election

20042004 general election2004 election
The bombings occurred three days before general elections, in which incumbent José María Aznar's PP was defeated.
The government was accused of misinformation, as an Islamist attack would have been perceived as the direct result of Spain's involvement in the Iraq War, which had been highly unpopular among the public.

El Mundo (Spain)

El MundoEl Mundo'' (Spain)elmundo.es
According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, 24 of the 29 alleged perpetrators were informers and/or controlled by the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, Civil Guard and Centro Nacional de Inteligencia ("National Centre for Intelligence") from the time before the attacks.

Spanish Socialist Workers' Party

PSOEPartido Socialista Obrero Españolsocialist
The controversy regarding the handling and representation of the Madrid train 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.

José María Aznar

Jose Maria AznarJosé Maria AznarAznar
The bombings occurred three days before general elections, in which incumbent José María Aznar's PP was defeated.

ETA (separatist group)

ETAEuskadi Ta AskatasunaETA(m)
Immediately after the bombing, leaders of the PP claimed evidence indicated that the Basque separatist organization ETA was responsible for the bombings. In the immediate aftermath of the train bombings it was suspected that the explosive used in the bombs may have been Titadine, as initial suspicions on responsibility for the bombings focused on ETA and this explosive had been used by them on occasions in the past.

Iraq War

Operation Iraqi FreedomIraqwar in Iraq
The PP government involved Spain in the Iraq War, a policy very unpopular with many Spaniards.

Juan del Olmo

After 21 months of investigation, judge Juan del Olmo ruled Moroccan national Jamal Zougam guilty of physically carrying out the attack.

Jamal Zougam

After 21 months of investigation, judge Juan del Olmo ruled Moroccan national Jamal Zougam guilty of physically carrying out the attack.

European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center

ESISC
According to a report of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC), the same morning of the bombings the Spanish Intelligence Services and Policy had concluded that the author of the massacre was an Islamist terrorist group, but they had been ordered by the government to deny this Islamist attribution and insist that the ETA were the only suspects, although this same source also states that there is no precedent of collaboration of international Islamists with non-Muslims, and there were two non-Muslims (and police informers) involved in the Madrid attacks.

Islamic terrorism

Islamic terroristIslamic terroristsIslamist terrorism
According to a report of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC), the same morning of the bombings the Spanish Intelligence Services and Policy had concluded that the author of the massacre was an Islamist terrorist group, but they had been ordered by the government to deny this Islamist attribution and insist that the ETA were the only suspects, although this same source also states that there is no precedent of collaboration of international Islamists with non-Muslims, and there were two non-Muslims (and police informers) involved in the Madrid attacks.

September 11 attacks

9/11September 11, 2001 attacksSeptember 11, 2001
On one hand, José María Aznar was aggressively opposed to any dialogue with ETA, and based most of his campaign on the threat of terrorism (the September 11 attacks in New York reinforced his view of the war against the terrorists).

2003 invasion of Iraq

invasion of IraqIraq War2003 Iraq War
On the other hand, Aznar's friendship with U.S. president George W. Bush led him to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq against the views of the overwhelming majority of the population (resulting in the biggest demonstrations ever seen in Spain since the restoration of democracy in the late 1970s).

The New Yorker

New YorkerNew Yorker MagazineThe New Yorker Magazine
Nevertheless, The New Yorker claimed the decision was taken before 9/11 according to an Italian police report.

Titadine

Titadyne
In the immediate aftermath of the train bombings it was suspected that the explosive used in the bombs may have been Titadine, as initial suspicions on responsibility for the bombings focused on ETA and this explosive had been used by them on occasions in the past.

Goma-2

As evidence emerged from the investigation attention on the explosive used switched to a brand of dynamite known as Goma-2.

TEDAX

Analysis of samples from the explosion sites carried out by a member of the bomb disposal squad (TEDAX) following the bombings did not produce a definitive result. Later in 2004, in his appearance before the parliamentary committee of inquiry, Juan Jesus Sánchez Manzano (the head of the TEDAX) stated that traces of nitroglycerine had been detected in the samples recovered after the bombings.

Nitroglycerin

nitroglycerineglyceryl trinitratenitro-glycerine
Later in 2004, in his appearance before the parliamentary committee of inquiry, Juan Jesus Sánchez Manzano (the head of the TEDAX) stated that traces of nitroglycerine had been detected in the samples recovered after the bombings.

2,4-Dinitrotoluene

dinitrotolueneDNT2,6-Dinitrotoluene
Nitroglycerine was detected in one of these samples, and the presence of dinitrotoluene (DNT) was also detected.

Dibutyl phthalate

DBPDi-n-butyl phthalateDibutylphthalate
However, also detected in the same sample was dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is a component of Goma 2 ECO but not of titadine.

Leganés

LeganesClub Víctor Pradera LeganésLéganes
Entire cartridges, or partial remains of cartridges, of Goma 2 ECO were recovered from the apartment in Leganés where 7 suspects of the bombings died following an explosion, the only unexploded bomb, a Renault Kangoo van found near Alcalá de Henares station on the day of the bombings, and the device that was left by the high speed railway line connecting Madrid and Seville.

Renault

Groupe RenaultRenault GroupRenault Megane
Entire cartridges, or partial remains of cartridges, of Goma 2 ECO were recovered from the apartment in Leganés where 7 suspects of the bombings died following an explosion, the only unexploded bomb, a Renault Kangoo van found near Alcalá de Henares station on the day of the bombings, and the device that was left by the high speed railway line connecting Madrid and Seville.

Alcalá de Henares

AlcaláAlcala de HenaresComplutum
Entire cartridges, or partial remains of cartridges, of Goma 2 ECO were recovered from the apartment in Leganés where 7 suspects of the bombings died following an explosion, the only unexploded bomb, a Renault Kangoo van found near Alcalá de Henares station on the day of the bombings, and the device that was left by the high speed railway line connecting Madrid and Seville.

Seville

Seville, SpainSevillaSevilla, Spain
Entire cartridges, or partial remains of cartridges, of Goma 2 ECO were recovered from the apartment in Leganés where 7 suspects of the bombings died following an explosion, the only unexploded bomb, a Renault Kangoo van found near Alcalá de Henares station on the day of the bombings, and the device that was left by the high speed railway line connecting Madrid and Seville.

National Police Corps

National PoliceCuerpo Nacional de PolicíaPolicía Nacional
According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, 24 of the 29 alleged perpetrators were informers and/or controlled by the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, Civil Guard and Centro Nacional de Inteligencia ("National Centre for Intelligence") from the time before the attacks.