On June 9th, Wilson Center Global Fellow Fernando Reinares was awarded the Medal of La Rioja in Spain for his contribution to the study of the 2004 Madrid Train Bombings and for his “outstanding contribution to the fight against terrorism and the defense of democratic principles”.  As the province’s highest honor, the Medal of La Rioja has been presented annually since 1985, to organizations and individuals that have provided a great service to the people and the region of La Rioja.

In 2011, Reinares served as a Public Policy Fellow in the Global Europe Program at the Wilson Center, where his projects included “The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings and the Evolving Global Threat in Western Europe” and “Motivations to Join and Exit Terrorist Organizations: An Empirical Study on Militants of ETA”. The culmination of the research conducted at the Wilson Center can be seen in his forthcoming book “Al Qaeda’s Revenge: The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings” which will be published in the U.S. by the Wilson Center and Columbia University Press in December 2016. By accessing new archival sources and conducting interviews with top officials, Reinares was able to trace the attacks not to the Basque separatist group ETA, but rather to the organizational efforts of Al-Qaeda. Reinares now serves as a Wilson Center Global Fellow.

In addition to the Medal of La Rioja, Reinares has previously been conferred several other awards including the Cross of Military Merit and the Police Merit Cross. Reinares is current acting Director of the Program on Global Terrorism at the Elcano Royal Institute. He also serves as a Professor of Political Science and Security Studies at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Reinares can be followed on Twitter at @F_Reinares.