Quan, Ana Danielle

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In the morning of 11 March 2004 three train stations in Madrid simultaneously suffered from bomb explosions, leaving almost 200 dead and around 2,000 wounded. The significance of this terror attack is that is happened three days before the Spain’s general elections and more noticeable two and half years after the 9/11 attacks in the US. After an official and intense research conducted by the Spanish Judiciary they found that the attacks had been lead by terrorist cell inspired by Al- Qaeda.

Just after the sucession there was a lot of controversy that it had been either of the two main political parties. They tried to accuse each other for electoral reasons. Even though Spain knew their nation had Al- Qaeda presence since 1990s, as well as terrorist from several other groups, such as as GIA and Armed Islamic Group of Algeria. Spain nevertheless was not well prepared to deal with Islamist terrorism; they had too few resources allocated to reacto to a situation like this. According to BBC officers were able to capture suspects responsible for the bomb explosions. Yet it was also recorded that seven of the victims that died were also suspects. Overall there was a total of 27 terrorists involved in the attack, who were investigated and found to be young and single. Furtheremore they already had terrorist history.

So how does this affect Spain’s social order. The first big impact is that it shows how the terrorist group had planned their attack so that it seemed that it had not been them but it had been one of the political parties and have an electoral impact. It created big controversies at the beginning and people actually thought that it had been a political order to set the bombs. Moreover it did not only affect Spain’s social order but it also affected the European Union and as well as the whole world. As we have learned for a terrorist attack to be successful it needs to be a “tactical surprise” and cause fear in the society.

Finally Zapatero was the current president in office in Spain during that time. It has been claimed that the bombings of 3/11 (March 11th) also acted as catalyst for Spain to retrieve its involvement in the war in Iraq. This is because Zapatero strongly believed that withdrawing from the war would protect Spain from further terrorist attacks.

References:
http://www.sekuritaci.cz/the-strategic-surprise-of-the-2004-madrid-bombings/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/11/newsid_4273000/4273817.stm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Madrid_train_bombings

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