Spanish marchers say "No to Terrorism" and "No to War" the day after one of the worst terrorist incidents in European history, the Madrid Train Bombings.
Photograph by Kippelboy, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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  • On March 11, 2004, a coordinated series of bombs detonated in three train stations in Madrid, Spain. The explosions killed 191 people and injured at least 1,800 more. The Madrid Train Bombings are some of the most deadly terrorist incidents in Europe.
    The tragedy, occurring just three days before national elections, set off an intensely political debate in Spain. The Partido Popular, the party in power, initially blamed the ETA, a separatist group that seeks independence for Basque country, a region in northeastern Spain. Many countries, including Spain and the United States, consider the ETA a terrorist organization. The Partido Popular lost power in the elections.
    Ultimately, Moroccan affiliates of al-Qaida were linked to the Madrid Train Bombings. A letter claiming to be from al-Qaida claimed responsibility, although the dozens of people charged in the attacks are only vaguely connected to the organization. Years later, men convicted of transporting explosives to Spain and planting the bombs on the trains were sentenced to 43,000 years in prison.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    al-Qaida Noun

    loosely knit, radical Sunni Muslim terrorist group seeking to eliminate non-Muslim influence and establish shariah law.

    coordinate Verb

    to work together or organize for a specific goal.

    debate Verb

    to argue or disagree in a formal setting.

    detonate Verb

    to cause something to explode.

    election Noun

    selection of people to public office by vote.

    ETA Noun (Euskadi ta Askatasuna, "Basque Homeland and Freedom") terrorist Basque separatist organization.
    explosive Noun

    material that can quickly and violently expand due to a chemical change.

    incident Noun

    event or happening.

    independence Noun

    state or situation of being free.

    initially Adverb

    at first.

    intense Adjective

    extreme or strong.

    political Adjective

    having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.

    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    responsibility Noun

    being accountable and reliable for an action or situation.

    terrorist Adjective

    having to do with the use of non-military violence and/or threats of violence to achieve or advocate political change.

    tragedy Noun

    very sad event.

    transport Verb

    to move material from one place to another.

    vague Adjective