Spain is observing three days of mourning following Thursday's train bombings in Madrid which killed nearly 200 people in the worst terrorist attack in the country's history. Despite a denial from the main Basque separatist group ETA, the Spanish government says Basque terrorists remain the prime suspect in their investigation. But there are some indications suggesting Middle Eastern terrorists may be to blame. Spanish authorities are keeping all lines of inquiry open.
Demonstrators in Madrid vented their anger at Thursday's train bombings. Across Spain, people also observed a moment of silence for the victims of one of the worst terrorist attacks in Europe in years, wondering, as this person did, who would have carried out such a horrific act.
"It's very difficult to wake up today and think that at least 200 people were killed yesterday and at the moment we don't know who did that," one person said.
Hundreds of people remain hospitalized.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, saying that while all lines of investigation remain open, any amount of common sense suggests Basque separatists are to blame. But some evidence recovered suggests the attacks could have been the work of a Middle Eastern group. U.S. intelligence officials though, are casting skepticism at this point on a claim made by a group on behalf of al-Qaida.
In Washington, President Bush placed a wreath at the residence of the Spanish ambassador, emphasizing Spain and the United States remain locked in a war on terrorism.
"Killers try to shake our will. They try to shake our confidence in the future. The Spanish people will stand firm against this type of killing and they will have a friend in the American people," he said.
If it turns out the terrorist attacks were the work of Basque separatists, it would be their worst attack ever. Without firm knowledge of who was responsible, the attacks have prompted countries across Europe to step up security. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is sending out advisories to police and other law enforcement agencies nationwide warning them to remain vigilant in light of the Spanish bombings.