- The Events of March 11, 2004 in Madrid
- The Aftermath of the Madrid Bombings
- The Legacy of the Madrid Bombings
March 12 - Nationwide Anti-Terrorism Demonstrations
At the request of Prime Minister Jose Aznar, Spain takes to the streets in a massive public display of condemnation of the attacks. Two million people march through Madrid, the majority of them walking down Paseo de Castellana from Plaza de Colon, where Azar and other important politicians march to Atocha station. Millions more around the country organize similar demonstrations. At this point, the assumption is still that it is ETA that is responsible for the attacks.
March 13 - Arrests & 'Dia de Reflexion' Protests
On the evening of March 13, it is revealed that three Moroccans and two Indians have been arrested in connection with the bombings of the previous Thursday, thus confirming Islamic intervention and making the possibility of ETA less likely.
Once again, the citizens of Madrid take to the streets. The mood is quite different from demonstrations of the previous day. Gone is the sense of solidarity and feeling of community; in its place is an intense feeling of anger and a feeling that the government has lied to the people at a time when the Spanish people feel at their most vulnerable. The number of protesters are far fewer than at the peaceful demonstration of the previous day.
The day before a election in Spain is known as the 'dia de reflexion' and political protestations are illegal, which may have put some people off coming out onto the streets. Nonetheless, Puerta del Sol fills up with people protesting outside the municipal government building, bashing bottles and garbage can lids.
Prime Ministerial Candidate Mariano Rajoy (Aznar's successor as leader of the Partido Popular) appears on television denouncing the protests and appealing for the opposition party (PSOE) to condemn the demonstrations. PSOE does not comply.
Rumors have circulated since this day, propagated by Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, that Aznar petitioned the King to postpone the election due to the circumstances. The King is said to have refused, saying that it would have amounted to a coup d'etat. It should be noted that Aznar is threatening to sue Almodovar for his comments.
March 14 - Spanish General Election
With Prime Minister Aznar stepping down, it has been largely expected that his successor, Mariano Rajoy, will win the election for the PP (Partido Popular, or Popular Party). However, with the events of the previous few days, a large swing is expected towards Zapatero's PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español). Early indications are that Zapatero had indeed won and by Monday morning it is official - Zapatero is the new Prime Minister of Spain.
Spain has had the highest anti-war sentiment in Europe (polls have put those against the war at 94%). Aznar and PP's election failure appears to be not only the result of the belief that the bombings were a direct response to Spain's involvement in the war but also that they had lied to the Spanish people by asserting ETA involvement when it was clear that the evidence pointed to Al Qaeda.
April 2 - Failed Bombing Attempt on AVE Train
A railway worker finds a blue plastic bag on the railway track between Madrid and Seville, averting a disaster potentially even greater than that of March 11.
April 3 - Siege in Leganés
Spanish police trace the man said to be the Madrid bombings 'ringleader', Serhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, aka 'The Tunisian', to an apartment in Leganés, a district of Madrid to the south-west of the city. Spanish special forces besiege the apartment. The siege ends when the terrorists detonate bombs in the apartment, killing themselves and one policeman, Francisco Javier Torrenteras Gadea.