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New Netflix Documentary Based on Work of Wilson Center Global Fellow

Madrid Train Station
Madrid, Spain 12-29-2021 the concourse with the tropical garden, shops, cafés, and a nightclub at Atocha train station. The station which became famous after terrorist attacks on 11 March 2004

The recently released Netflix documentary, 11M: Terror in Madrid features Wilson Center Global Fellow, Fernando Reinares, whose book, Al-Qaeda’s Revenge: The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings, is the basis of the film. Both the film and the book cover the bombing of commuter trains on March 11, 2004, in Madrid, Spain, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,800.

In Reinares’ research and writing for the book, he draws parallels between the train bombings in Madrid, and the 9/11 attacks in New York, using intelligence documents, judicial summaries, and interviews to examine the rise of Al-Qaeda from the 1990s to the 2000s. He worked on the book during his time at the Wilson Center in 2011, where he completed projects on Jihadism, the Madrid attacks, and terrorist recruitment.

11M: Terror in Madrid was released on February 23, 2022, and features first-hand descriptions from attack survivors and first responders. It offers analytical takes by scholars and policymakers—including Reinares—on the rise of Al-Qaeda, the planning of the attack, and implications for foreign policy. Also featured is Wilson Center Fellow, Bruce Hoffman, a Professor at Georgetown University, visiting Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations,  and Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.

Reinares has discussed his work on terrorism in high-level events at the Wilson Center, including in 2009, during a panel discussion marking the fifth anniversary of the Madrid tragedy. His assessment of the attack shared during the event, including the intentions of the terrorist network, the socio-political implications following the bombing in Madrid, and his research methods, are featured in his book and the Netflix documentary.

Reinares, an expert on terrorism and radicalization, also serves as Senior Analyst and Director of the Program on Violent Radicalization and Global Terrorism at the Elcano Royal Institute, and is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. 

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The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, US-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. We investigate European approaches to critical global issues: digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance. We also examine Europe’s relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Our program activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The Global Europe Program’s staff, scholars-in-residence, and Global Fellows participate in seminars, policy study groups, and international conferences to provide analytical recommendations to policy makers and the media.  Read more