Rodrigo Cabrero took the suburban train each morning to go to university, where he was studying computer science. He had always been a good student; he learned to read when he was only three years old. He was dating a girl called Macarena, and had promised her that he would have surgery to cure his allergy, so that he could move in with her and her three cats. After learning of the attack, Rodrigo’s father went to the university to check if his son was there. Rodrigo’s classmates tried to calm him down, telling him that he would soon show up. Rodrigo had been 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.