The first thing I have to say is that I am perplexed, really surprised by the result. And that's why I'm surprised Zapatero is so happy about the sentence (or so he has said).
Three persons were considered as "masterminds" of the attacks: Mohammed the Egiptian (acquitted entirely), Youssef Belhadj (12 years for belonging to terrorist gang) and Hassan el Haski (15 years for being leader of a terrorist gang). None of them is considered to have taken part in the bombings.
Then Spanish schizophrenic and minor criminal Trashorras is considered as someone whose cooperation was needed for the bombings and is condemned to nearly 40.000 years in prison. Strickinly, he is, then, considered as an author of the bombings, according to Spanish penal code.
Only Jamal Zougam and Otman el Gnaoui are considered as "Jihadi" authors of the massacre and are condemned to the same amount of years as Trashorras.
Another stricking thing: Trashorras cousin's Toro, who was accused of being a police collaborator, has been acquitted, when it was nearly considered as the "clever" of the family and with direct implication in the traffic of explosives.
ETA, the Iraqi war and Bin Laden are not related with the bombings. But the sentence says:
Among the proved facts, the resolution underlines that these groups, "using the violence in any of its sides, pretend to destroy democratic regimes and eliminate the Christian-Western culture to substitute them with an Islamic State under the empire of the Islamic Law in its more radical, extreme and minoritary interpretation".
Well, the theory can be more or less well summarised. But how can we consider this as a Jihadi attack (according only to the sentence), when one out of three authors is non-Muslim, schizofrenic and haschich consumer with no relation with Jihadi networks and the three more important guys are acquitted of the massacre?
The rest of the people condemned are not authors nor collaborators of the massacre. They are condemned of belonging to terrorist Jihadi networks with no connection with the bombings, and of other minor crimes (falsification of public documents or having explosives).
It's curious to underline that, while Socialist Zapatero and Communist Llamazares have praised the sentence, the victims are all not very happy with it. The Spanish "Cindy Sheehan", Pilar Manjón, who has blamed directly Aznar and Bush of the bombings and has said the victims were killed because they were "workers" and not rich people "who go on their cars to work", has said she is appealing the sentence. Others have considered it to be very soft with the criminals.
But there are some problems: there is no data as to what the explosive was (there were no proofs...). Nothing about who was the leader. Nor even about who inspired the bombings. And only three people of all who were initially charged with the bombings did everything.
I don't think this sentence has solutioned anything. For me it has complicated it even more.
(Just in case: Schizophrenia, from the Greek roots schizein (σχίζειν, "to split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-, "mind"), is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most commonly manifesting as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction. Do you really believe a man like that can be an author of a planned massacre like this? I do not).