Spanish Police Detonate Controlled Explosions in Town Terrorists Plotted Attack

Claudine Rigal
Août 20, 2017

None of the five are believed to be the driver who sped into Las Ramblas, leaving a trail of dead and injured among the crowds of tourists and local residents strolling in the Barcelona boulevard. It took a very short time for ISIS to claim responsibility for the attack.

Spanish police are searching for Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, who they suspect may be the driver who escaped the scene on foot.

While the Catalonian police chief would not name the people arrested, he said that their ages ranged between 21 and 34.

Said Oukabir also went to try his luck in Catalonia in the 1990s. "I helped them. I did not leave them until we got the hospital". Earlier reports from Spain had suggested that the terror cell was planning an attack using gas canisters.

He said officers had carried out nine searches of properties in Ripoll, the northern Catalan town where Abouyaaqoub and other suspects had lived. This reportedly included a raid on an imam's home.

Spanish police have described it as a terror attack and a massive manhunt is under way for the man suspected of carrying out the attack.

A key suspect linked to the Barcelona attack and a later one is still sought.

"I have directed our Embassy in Madrid to proceed to Barcelona and extend all possible assistance to our injured kababayan and to exert all efforts to help find her son", Cayetano added.

However, the apparently accidental explosion at the house forced the conspirators to scale down their plans and to hurriedly carry out more "rudimentary" attacks, Mr Trapero said.

But the Catalan police and the regional interior ministry has confirmed one dead so far, said a Reuters report.

In that attack, five men wearing fake suicide belts ploughed into pedestrians just hours after the atrocity in Barcelona.

Another three people have been identified but are still at large.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the van attack was "jihadist terrorism" which required a global response.

Since then, the extremist group, also known as Daesh, has steadily lost ground in its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, most recently with its defeat in Mosul.

"The executor of the stabbing operation in the city of Surgut in Russia is a soldier of the Islamic State", Amaq said. Barcelona police said that the Las Ramblas van incident was a 'terrorist attack'.

They told the AFP, who met them in Melouiya, a village nestled in the Atlas mountains, that the teenagers had left for Europe "to try their luck on the other side of the Mediterranean".

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