Army sub-lieutenant José María López-Menchero (44) had been living in Alcalá de Henares for 17 years, since the birth of his only daughter. He was a great horse-lover and had chosen to work at the Spanish Thoroughbred Breeding Detachment. Like every day, on 11 March 2004, he took the train to Atocha at 7.10 am. He was seated next to one of his workmates and his one-year-old daughter. The little girl was also killed in the attack.
11 March 2004 fell on a Thursday. Early that morning, a number of terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda planted thirteen bombs on four suburban trains covering routes running through Madrid. Ten of the bombs exploded between 7.37 and 7.39 am, when the trains were at Atocha, El Pozo and Santa Eugenia stations and alongside Calle Téllez. 191 people were killed in the attack and around 1,500 were wounded. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Spanish history. On 3 April 2004, agents from the Special Operations Group (GEO) were about to enter an apartment in Leganés where the perpetrators of the attacks were believed to be hiding when the terrorists detonated twenty kilograms of explosives in an act of collective suicide. The ensuing blast killed one of the officers, bringing the total number of people killed by the 11 March bombers to 192.