The trial of the bombing suspects in Spain produced predictable results: a wholesale acquittal. One explanation is that it is almost impossible to convict terrorist suspects unless they were detected and wiretapped beforehand. They don’t leave many traces, and rarely engage in continuous operations like a gang, but rather act in a hit-and-run manner. In this case, however, there is just no evidence linking the suspects to the terrorist act.

Even Spanish prosecution rebuffed the myths of Al Qaeda perpetrating the attack where four trains exploded near the train station. None of the suspects is affiliated with Al Qaeda, and they received no advice or financing from Al Qaeda.
Out of the twenty-eight defendants, only three were convicted of murder; seven were acquitted, while eighteen were convicted of vague crimes such as association with a terrorist organization. Every Arab in Europe can be convicted on such grounds, since he donates to an Islamic charity which donates to Hamas, or visits a local mosque frequented by terrorists. The eighteen acquitted defendants didn’t participate in the Spanish bombing attack.
Zougam, an Arab salesman, merely sold the mobile phones used to set off the explosives. The terrorists would be crazy to buy phones from one of their associates because the leftovers of the exploded phones are easy to trace. The phones were unlocked in Zougam’s shop, as if to create more evidence; why unlock the phones instead of buying cheap prepaid phones?
Gnaoui, another Arab, is convicted of transporting the explosives to Madrid. If he knew about the attack—which required many people—why wasn’t he recruited to place the bombs on the trains, too? Gnaoui, at most, is a petty arms dealer with no connection to the terrorist attack.
Trashorras, a Spanish national and former miner, allegedly supplied the explosives. It is incredible that he knowingly participated in a plot to kill his countrymen in great numbers—the total amount of explosives is huge, about 300 lbs. Thashorras was an informant of the Spanish police, for years providing them information on sales of explosives and firearms.
No one was prosecuted for planting and setting off the explosives, but only for auxiliary roles. No mastermind was identified in the trial.

Four Arab suspects blew themselves up when apprehended by Spanish police. Such behavior is highly unusual for Islamic terrorists, and clearly prohibited in Islam (suicide bombings are military operations rather than suicides per se). The Arabs killed one policeman in the blast, but that was probably an unintended consequence. The Arabs’ chances of being convicted for the train bombing were slight, and the trial would have provided them with a forum for pompous addresses, so the suicides made no sense. Spanish police oddly declared tracing of the dynamite used in the suicide to be impossible, and it remains unknown whether the dynamite is the same used in the train bombings; given the police’s refusal to trace it, the dynamite was likely different.

Someone framed the Islamists: a car was left at one of the train stations with audio tapes with Koranic verses, literature in Arabic, and detonators. Are we to believe that the terrorists didn’t know how many detonators they would need, and left a few spare ones? That they didn’t take the detonators away? That they are so stupid as to leave detonators and Koranic audio tapes in an abandoned car? Passengers saw men in ski masks repeatedly entering and leaving the train. Why would the terrorists act so irresponsibly, in a manner that was sure to make the passengers suspicious? Just how many terrorists should act concurrently to place rucksack bombs in at least ten train cars? We’re talking about three dozen people at least—and are we to believe that none of them was identified in the subsequent three-year investigation? It is quite unbelievable that dynamite caused the amount of damage seen on the trains; powerful C-4 is a much more likely explosive for the Madrid bombing. Conveniently, one unexploded rucksack contained dynamite, as to offer the evidence; its detonator’s wires were not connected. The unexploded rucksack with dynamite was miraculously found after the police had initially searched the very same pile of baggage. The other two initially unexploded rucksacks contained something so unusual that it went off when the bomb squad tried to deactivate them; it is impossible that bomb experts failed to deactivate a crude terrorist device.

No terrorist organization claimed credit for the attack; the al-Masri Brigades’ claim of responsibility is clearly fake. There is no conceivable reason why a terrorist organization would abstain from claiming credit for such a high-profile attack. Just like with 9/11, the Madrid bombing was qualitatively different from normal terrorist attacks. There are dozens of major terrorist organizations in Europe, but none of them ever perpetrated an attack on such a scale, either before or after the Madrid bombing. The train bombing was highly successful in political terms for the Islamists: it led to Spain’s withdrawal from Iraq. Why didn’t they continue such bombings in other countries to pursue the Islamist agenda? It is not difficult to buy C-4 or dynamite in Europe; rucksacks and mobile phones are not hard to get, either. The masterminds of the Madrid bombings meant them to produce the same effect as 9/11: Spaniards were expected to rush against Islamists, like the Americans. The plan did not work with sybarite Europeans: they opted for withdrawal from Iraq. Four trains were bombed, just like the four airplanes in 9/11.

The train bombing could not have been a local plot for a single reason: everyone who lives in Spain knows that trains there never arrive on time. No Spanish resident would have planned an attack based on the official timetable of the trains’ arrival. The trains could not have arrived simultaneously and caused the railway station roof to crash, as was apparently the bombers’ plan. The bombing’s masterminds live in a country where the trains arrive on schedule.
The Madrid bombing was apparently linked symbolically to 9/11: it was meant to happen 911 days after the attack in America. But the trains in Spain exploded 912 days after the WTC attack. Not really.

It was still the 911th day in the United States of America.