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Terrorist Attack on Madrid

Bombing
By: David Raja Marpaung S.Ip, M.Def

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Short Brief
• On 11 March 2004, a series of bombs exploded
within minutes of each other on four
commuter trains in the Spanish capital
Madrid.
• The blasts killed 191 people and wounded
1,841. It was the worst terror attack in Europe
since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.
• Seven of the key suspects - including the
alleged mastermind, Tunisian Serhane ben
Abdelmajid Fakhet - died in an explosion at a
Madrid flat in April 2004 as police were
closing in on them. A policeman also died.
• Twenty one people, mostly Moroccans, were
convicted of involvement in the attacks.
Three of the key defendants received
maximum jail sentences.
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Operation

1 M itsu b ish i m o b ile


phone
2 C o p p e r d e to n a to r
3 E xp lo sive s ( 1 0 kg )
4 M e ta lfra g m e n ts

In ve stig a to rs d isco ve re d
a w h ite va n b e lie ve d to
b e lo n g to th e b o m b e rs
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
AL-Qaeda Attacks
Year Attacks
2001-2001 September 11 attacks · 2001 Indian Parliament attack
2003-2004 , Terrorism
Riyadh in Pakistan
compound · Ghriba
bombings · synagoguebombings ·
Casablanca bombing
2005-2006 · 1stLondon
2003
1st Bali bombing
Mumbai bombings ·
bombings · 2nd London bombings ·
Jakarta Marriott Hotel
Sharm el-Sheikh bombing ·
attacks · 2nd BaliIstanbul bombings ·
bombing ·
SuperFerry 14 bombing ·
1st Delhi bombings · Amman Madrid train bombings ·
bombings ·
BeslanVaranasi
2006 school hostage crisis ·
bombings ·
Jakarta Australian
2006 Mumbai trainembassy bombing
bombings ·
Transatlantic aircraft plot · Toronto terrorism plot

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Al-Qaeda Interest in Spain
• Osama bin Laden issued a public threat in
October 2003 to carry out suicide
bombings against any countries joining
the US-led invasion of Iraq: "We reserve
the right to retaliate at the appropriate
time and place against all countries
involved, especially Britain, Spain,
Australia, Poland, Japan and Italy." At the
time, Spain had some 1,300 soldiers
stationed on Iraqi soil.
• In addition, bin Laden had spoken earlier of
wishing to return the southern Spanish
region of Andalucía to Muslim control,
reversing the Reconquista of 1492.
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Actors
• Seven of the key suspects - including the
alleged mastermind, Tunisian Serhane ben
Abdelmajid Fakhet - died in an explosion
at a Madrid flat in April 2004 as police
were closing in on them. A policeman also
died.
• Twenty one people, mostly Moroccans, were
convicted of involvement in the attacks.
Three of the key defendants received
maximum jail sentences.
• The attacks were one of the first signs that
Europe was vulnerable to attacks from
groups residing within the continent and
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
who were inspired - but not necessarily
Some Leaders
Z o u g a m , a M o ro cca n n a tio n a lw h o ra n a m o b ile
p h o n e sh o p in M a d rid , w a s fo u n d g u ilty o f 1 9 1
co u n ts o f m u rd e r, a n d se n te n ce d to 3 0 ye a rs fo r
e a ch o n e . Fin a lly , h e w a s se n te n ce d to 1 2 ye a rs in
p riso n fo r b e lo n g in g to a te rro rist o rg a n isa tio n

A b d e lm a jid B o u ch a r. T h e M o ro cca n , cu rre n tly


d e ta in e d in S p a in , w a s se n te n ce d to 1 8 ye a rs in
p riso n . H e w a s a ccu se d o f 1 9 1 co u n ts o f m u rd e r
a n d 1 , 8 5 6 co u n ts o f a tte m p te d m u rd e r

Jo se E m ilo S u a re z Tra sh o rra s. A fo rm e r m in e r, th e


S p a n ia rd w a s fo u n d g u ilty o f su p p lyin g so m e o f
th e exp lo sive s th a t w e re u se d in th e a tta cks. H e
w a s se n te n ce d to 2 5 ye a rs e a ch fo r 1 9 2 d e a th s -
th e 1 9 1 w h o d ie d in th e b o m b in g s.
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
G h a lyo u n w a s o rig in a lly se n te n ce d to 1 2 ye a rs in
p riso n . A S yria n n a tio n a l b o rn in 1 9 8 0 , h e o w n e d
a M a d rid a p a rtm e n t w h e re m e m b e rs o f a n
Isla m ist ce ll a lle g e d ly u se d to m e e t

B e lh a d jw a s fo u n d g u ilty o f b e lo n g in g to a te rro rist


g ro u p a n d se n te n ce d to 1 2 ye a rs in p riso n . A
M o ro cca n , h e w a s ch a rg e d w ith 1 9 1 m u rd e rs a n d
1 , 7 5 5 a tte m p te d m u rd e r

H a ski, a su sp e cte d le a d in g m e m b e r o f th e
M o ro cca n Isla m ic C o m b a ta n t G ro u p , w a s
se n te n ce d to 1 5 ye a rs fo r b e lo n g in g to a
te rro rist g ro u p . H e h a d b e e n ch a rg e d w ith 1 9 1
m u rd e rs a n d 1 , 7 5 5 a tte m p te d m u rd e rs.

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


The Madrid Roots
• This changing jihadi landscape is revealed in the formation of the
cell responsible for the 2004 Madrid train bombings. As early as
October 2002, the substitute imam of the Takoua Mosque in
Madrid, was informing Spanish police under the codename
“Cartagena” that a band of friends, unhappy with the mosque’s
seemingly moderate preachings, had begun calling themselves
Al Haraka Salafiya, “The Salafi Movement.”
• According to Cartagena, they met “clandestinely, with no
regularity or fixed place, by oral agreement and without any
schedule, though usually on Fridays.”  Soon, the informal group
of mostly homesick Moroccan descendants and émigrés
“reached the conclusion that they had to undertake jihad.”  By
November 2002, opinion within the group began to shift against
“going to other countries to undertake jihad, when operations
were possible in Morocco and Spain.” 
• A detailed action plan only began to coalesce later the following
year, however, around the time the internet tract “Iraqi Jihad,
Hopes and Risks” began to circulate a call for “two or three
attacks … to exploit the coming general elections in Spain in
March 2004” on the Global Islamic Media Front Web, [ii] which
the Madrid plotters had been systematically logging on to since
the spring of 2003. The police reports show that targeting trains
to force Spain out of the
David coalition
Raja in Iraq
Marpaung. Associate wasUniversity
Lecture only a late goal
of Indonesia, also Indones
emanating from an informal network dedicated to the simple
Evolving Madrid Network:
2001

Red – M30 Mosque Madrid


Blue– Core Arab Madrid
Black- Ahmidan Drug Gang
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Evolving Madrid Network:
2002

Red – M30 Mosque Madrid


Blue– Core Arab Madrid
Black- Ahmidan Drug Gang
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Evolving Madrid Network:
2003-2004

Red – M30 Mosque Madrid


Blue– Core Arab Madrid
Black- Ahmidan Drug Gang
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Part of Al-Qaeda
• Al Qaeda Central
• This category comprises the remnants of the pre-9/11 al Qaeda
organization. It is believed that this hardcore remains centered
in or around the Afghanistan and Pakistan borders and
continues to exert actual coordination, if not some direct
command and control capability, in terms of commissioning
attacks, directing surveillance and collating reconnaissance,
planning operations, and approving their execution
• Al Qaeda Affiliates and Associates
• This category embraces formally established insurgent or terrorist
groups that over the years have benefited from bin Laden’s
largesse and/or spiritual guidance and/or have received
training, arms, money and other assistance from al Qaeda. This
category includes groups such as: al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI), the
late Abu Musab Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Mesopotamia (formerly
Jamaat al Tawhid wa’l Jihad), Asbat al- Ansar, Ansar al Islam,
Islamic Army of Aden, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU),
Jemaah Islamiya (JI), Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Moro
Islamic Liberation nFront (MILF), Salafist Group for Call and
Combat (GSPC), and Davidthe various Associate
Raja Marpaung. Kashmiri nIslamic
Lecture Universitygroups
of Indonesia, also Indones
based in Pakistan
• Al Qaeda Locals
These are dispersed cells of al Qaeda adherents who have or have

had some direct connection with al Qaeda——no matter how


tenuous or evanescent.
 There are 2 categories:
 1. comprises persons who have had some prior terrorism
experience—
 having been blooded in battle as part of some previous jihadi
campaign in Algeria, the Balkans, Chechnya, and perhaps more
recently in Iraq
 2. none of membeshad previously fought in any of the
contemporary, iconic Muslim conflicts such as Madrid and London
Blast. They recruited others locally as needed, into the cell and
undertook a relatively simple, but nonetheless sophisticated and
highly consequential attack
• Al Qaeda Network
• These are home-grown Islamic radicals——from North Africa, the
Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. Like the “al Qaeda
Locals” they too are motivated by a shared sense of enmity and
grievance felt towards the United States and West in general
and their host-nations in particular. Critically, these persons are
neither directly members of a known, organized terrorist group
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
nor necessarily even a very cohesive entity unto themselves
Joining Global Network Jihad
(data from Marc Sageman,
currently being updated at University of Michigan)

• Friendship: 70%
– Band of mostly normal – even nice – guys
– Idealistic, compassionate toward their
“fictive kin”
• Kinship: 20%
– Sons, brothers, first cousins
– Importance of in-laws & marriage to cement
bonds between Mujahedin
• Discipleship: 10%
– Southeast Asia: Jemaah Islamiyah
• Pesantren Al Mukmin: Abu Bakar Ba’asyir &
Abdullah Sungkar
• Pesantren Luqmanul Hakiem: Mukhlas

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Why Trains?
1. panic-spreading ubiquity which reinforces the perception among
the civilian population that anyone using public transport
could become a victim of the next terror attack.
2. land transport provides the terrorists with a high concentration of
people in a confined space, creating a mass casualty
environment. Attacks against land transport targets have
been nearly twice as lethal as terror attacks overall.
3. a terror campaign targeting commuter transport can deter people
from everyday travel, and have a profound economic impact
by crippling the mobility of the work force and scaring away
investors and tourists.
4. continuous attacks against such frequently-used means of
transport can severely undermine a government’s authority
as the populace grows increasingly frustrated over time,
eventually blaming the government for its inability to
maintain order.
5. terrorists pick land transport targets because they are an essential
feature of large population centres and thus represent in the
mind of the terrorist the heart of the enemy.
6. land transport is a soft target that provides the terrorists with an
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
almost infinite number of options for operations with a high
Vulnerable Points
• Rail Stations and Railways
– Open to public access
– Busy/Crowded
• Small explosive device can have big
impact
• Difficult to monitor for terrorist activity
• Difficult to screen passengers
– Can have economic impact with loss
of public confidence

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Risk Matrix

Im p a ct/ C ritica lity


Pro b a b ility / 1 2 3 4 5
Like lih o o d In sig n ifica n t M in o r M o d e ra te M a jo r C a ta stro p h ic

E -A lm o st 5 10 15 20 25
C e rta in
D -Like ly 4 8 12 16 20
C -Po ssib le 3 6 9 12 15
B -U n like ly 2 4 6 8 10
A -R a re 1 2 3 4 5

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Fault of Government
• Many Spaniards felt that the Government of the Popular Party under the leadership of
José María Aznarwas not providing reliable and updated information about the
responsible terrorists Immediately after the bombings with the PP blamed ETA
• The political dilemma of the PP was twofold:
 Firstly, announcing that an Islamist organization had perpetrated a terrorist
attack in Spain was going to make PP’s unpopular decision to support the American
military intervention in Iraq a damaging issue in an election it was fully expecting to
win.
 Secondly, by hinting at ETA, the PP Government attempted to endorse its hard
line towards Basque nationalism.There was an effort by the Spanish government to
blame ETA, something which was perceived to be a move for political
• Information made public on 12 March by the Norwegian Defence Research
Establishment (FFI) revealed that intelligence agencies had known for two
months that a terrorist attack was being planned against a country entering into
an election period. However, they mistakenly believed that country to be Iraq

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Effect
• The attacks came three days before national elections. Prime
Minister José Maria Aznar’s conservative Popular Party was
ahead in the polls, despite Spain’s participation in the
unpopular war in Iraq. Aznar quickly blamed the Basque
separatist group ETA for the attacks, but this judgment soon
proved ill-founded. All signs pointed to Al Qaeda, hence linking
Spain’s vulnerability to its participation in the war. There was a
swift backlash and public demonstrations against the prime
minister and his party.
• Three days after the attacks, the opposition Socialist Party under
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero secured a historic and unexpected
victory, paving the way for troop withdrawals. Soon after
having been elected primer minister, José Luis Rodríguez
Zapatero, fulfilled his explicit electoral pledge of pulling the
Spanish troops out of Iraq. He also took initiatives which made
effective the realignment of Spain’s foreign policy with that of
its traditional European allies, France and Germany in particular
• The attacks also reawakened fears of terrorism amongst investors
with most European stock markets falling between 2 and 3
David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
percent on 11 March. Stocks dropped in London and in New
T h e O b je ctive s o f M a d rid B o m b in g

•Gain recognition or attention – through publicity


•Disrupt and discredit the processes of government
•Create either sympathy or fear and hostility in an
audience identified as the enemy
•Provoke over-reaction from the government.

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Lesson Learned
The Threat

•Terrorist adversaries think in terms of endless war—long-term


planning horizons
•Remain determined to carry out attacks—they are opportunistic
•Until jihadist enterprise completely destroyed, operative
presumption must be that attack will occur at some time
•Surface transportation clearly part of terrorist target set

SECURITY AT TIME OF ATTACK

•Multiple jurisdictions—German police, state forces, Railway


Protection Force--with different tasks
•Little security in place
•No access control to platforms; no passenger screening
•Madrid police lack the resources to secure trains

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Question for the Future?

 1.If 100 percent screening not possible, do selective searches


make sense?


 2.If only some passengers are screened, where there is no
specific intelligence, what should be the appropriate selection
process?


 3.What combinations of selection methods are appropriate under
different conditions?


 4.What role can current and future technology play in passenger
screening? David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones
Summary
• Although it is believed that they were inspired to action after hearing
an October 2003 tape from Osama bin Laden, calling for attacks
against countries participating in the Iraq war, it appears that
none of the attack’s perpetrators received instructions or support
of any kind from al Qaeda’s leadership
• That a group, which largely consisted of petty criminals and blue
collar workers could plan, fund, and carry out an attack of this
complexity and size, independent of al Qaeda’s leadership,
illustrates the changing nature of the terror threat since 9/11
• These facts indicate that going after al Qaeda’s leadership alone will
not prevent attacks like Madrid that are carried out by
independent cells of al Qaeda Network members and al Qaeda
Locals.

David Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture University of Indonesia, also Indones


Recommendations
 Improving systems to counter an extremely rare
terrorist attack is costly and improvements should also
serve the dual purpose of crime or safety improvement
• Remove or closely monitor hiding places for devices
(trash cans, lockers, bathrooms, etc)
• Improve CCTV coverage of station areas
• Reduce sources of secondary fragmentation (ground
level glass, vending machines, chairs, decorations,
etc)
• Improve transparency, visibility and lighting to all areas
of station
• Control air circulation and establish ventilation
procedures in the event of a chemical or biological
attack
• Use non-combustible and non-toxic materials in stations
and rolling stock
• Improve interagency David communication systems
Raja Marpaung. Associate Lecture and also Indones
University of Indonesia,