Suspected driver in deadly Barcelona attack is fatally shot, police say

Pierre Vaugeois
Août 23, 2017

Five apparent cell members were shot dead by police after they rammed a auto into pedestrians in the resort town of Cambrils, got out and tried to stab people wearing fake explosive belts.

On Sunday Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, along with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, attended a mass for the victims of the attacks at Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Basilica.

National Court Judge Fernando Andreu is scheduled to rule later Tuesday on the prosecutor's request to send the four to jail without bail for preliminary accusations of being part of a terrorist organization, homicide, causing havoc and dealing with explosives.

Spanish judge Fernando Andreu Tuesday made a decision to send to prison two of the 4 surviving terror suspects in connection to last week's twin attacks.

As the hunt for Abouyaaqoub gathers pace, Spanish police tipped off their French counterparts about a white van linked to the attacks that may have crossed the border, a French police source said.

Police said the man was wearing what appeared to be an explosive belt, which would be a reason for calling in the bomb squad.

The man accused of killing at least 14 people when he ploughed a van into pedestrians in Barcelona's popular tourist spot Las Ramblas on Thursday (17 August) has been shot dead by Catalan police.

According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, police in Catalonia said they were searching for Abouyaaqoub, who is understood to be a key member of a 12-member jihadist cell behind the double attacks.

The attacks last Thursday started on Barcelona's Las Ramblas promenade, where authorities say a van killed 13 people.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The man previously reported as the suspect, teenager Moussa Oukabir, has been revealed to be one of the five men killed by police after a subsequent vehicle attack in Cambrils, west of Barcelona, which killed one woman and injured six. He stabbed the vehicle's driver, Pau Perez, to death and barreled through a checkpoint, authorities said.

There is also increased attention on Abdelbaki Es Satty, a part-time Muslim preacher in the small town of Ripoll, which was home to most of the attackers. The documents say the cell had to improvise or carry out alternate plans of violence after the house where they were making bombs exploded on Wednesday night. "We don't know where he is", said police chief official, Josep Luis Trapero in a press conference.

"We heard a helicopter flying around and many police cars coming toward the gas station that is some 600 meters from the property", Ventura said.

"Over the last two years, Younes and Houssein began to radicalise under the influence of this imam", their grandfather said.

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