“Me, fat? I look great,” Juan Miguel Gracia García used to say. Married with one son, he was working on the construction of Runway 15 of Barajas airport. He always went to work in a company car. However, on the previous night, he had left the vehicle at work to take the metro to Santiago Bernabeu stadium to see Real Madrid play Bayern Munich. After the match, he took the club bus home and the next morning he caught the suburban train to work. He was killed at Atocha station.
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.