Since I'm guessing the average reader doesn't know the backstory, I'm going to very quickly fill it in. My apologies to those who are bored by it.

Spain has a region (sort of like Canada has Quebec) where the people are culturally unique from the rest of Europe, and speak a different language. This region wants to be its own country, hence Basque Separatism. These separatist groups have at times, including recently, launched terrorist attacks of various sizes against Spain. Probably in part due to those sympathies, Spain agreed to become involved in America's war on terror and got involved in the Iraq War.

Additionally, Spain agreed to become involved in what appears to be a UK/US backed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea, a West African nation just south of Cameroon that the Spanish ruled until quite recently. Equatorial Guinea is a mineral-rich nation with good deposits of oil, and it has been led by questionable democracy since its independence was declared. Recently a coup, similar to the one in Haiti, was nearly staged. Rebel groups were going to seize the President and take him to exile in Spain, with funding said to be coming from the US and UK war chests.

Then, a few days later, massive explosions rocked Madrid, killing about 200 people and injuring well over a thousand more, in one of the most brutal attacks on Western civilians since WWII. Initially all fingers in Spain pointed at the separtists, but outside the country people pointed at Spain's actions in Africa and the Middle East as the trigger. However, what makes this event especially important though is that it happened right before a federal election (thanks to Bear for the tip; check his page for his comments).

With al Qaeda taking credit for the attacks, and the election clearly handing power away from the pro-American pro-war centrist and to the leftist party promising to pull Spain from the war, al Qaeda has gone a long way to have proved something very terrifying: Terrorist attacks work, and they are dollar-for-dollar the most effective way of instituting political change in a democracy.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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