Attacks in Spain: police on the runway of a cell of a dozen people
Passers-by pay tribute to the victims of the attack on the Ramblas in Barcelona on 18 August 2017
The investigation into the two attacks that killed 14 people in Catalonia advanced Friday in a mourning Spain, with the discovery of a cell of a dozen people precipitously committed after the failure of a ” A first plan even more murderous.
This cell could have been involved in the attacks carried out with cars launched against crowds of holidaymakers and walkers in Barcelona and then in Cambrils, further south, regional police spokesman Josep Lluís Trapero said on Friday evening.
Of the dozen suspects, four were arrested Thursday and Friday, and one is on the run. The identity of the man and his photo were disseminated: it is Younès Abouyaaqoub, a Moroccan of 22 years. Five others were shot dead on Thursday night in Cambrils as they led the attack.
Among the assailants killed are three young Moroccans living in Spain since their childhood: Moussa Oukabir, Saïd Aallaa and Mohamed Hychami, respectively aged 17, 18 and 24 and all residents of Ripoll, a town of some 10,000 inhabitants not far from the Pyrenees.
Three others also involved were identified, but were not arrested. Two of them may have died in the explosion followed by a fire in a house Wednesday in Alcanar, 200 km south of Barcelona, where the group may be trying to make explosive devices.
There are “human remains of two different people in this house, we are trying to see if they are two of the three people involved in the attacks. We would have a third to find,” the spokesman said. Of the Catalan police.
The driver of the truck who has mowed passers-by on the Ramblas has still not been identified by the police, he added, denying press reports that it was Moussa Oukabir.
– “I am not afraid” –
At 4:50 pm local time (14:50 GMT) on Thursday, a white pick-up truck had knocked dozens of passers-by on the Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring more than 120. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State Group (EI).
A few hours later, an Audi A3 in turn darkened on the seaside promenade of Cambrils, a seaside resort south of the Catalan capital, before striking a car of the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police. This was followed by a shooting in which the five occupants of the Audi, who were wearing fake explosive belts, an ax and knives, were killed.
While 17 wounded struggled between life and death on Friday, bereaved Spain was trying to reclaim the Ramblas, the great avenue that leads the Barcelonans to the sea, now dotted with altars in memory of the victims, Less 35 nationalities.
Families continued to search for their loved ones, such as Tony Cadman, who made a heartbreaking call on social networks. His 7-year-old grandson Julian Alessandro, who was on the Ramblas with his mother at the time of the attack, disappeared. He spread his picture, where he wears a green sweater. “Please, share,” he pleaded.
“Barcelona and the Ramblas must remain a symbol of peace and hospitality,” said Cristina Olivé, a 55-year-old nurse from Barcelona, with two hands taken by her two adopted children, a 9-year-old son Haitian and a 13-year-old girl of Chinese origin.
Some 20 extreme right-wing activists also tried to protest “More mosques!”, Before being overwhelmed by the crowd. Punches were fired, but without affecting the atmosphere of meditation.
At noon, hundreds of inhabitants of the Mediterranean metropolis chanted “No tinc por”, “I am not afraid” in Catalan.
A ceremony gathered the crowd behind King Felipe VI, the head of the government Mariano Rajoy and that of the regional government of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont for a minute of silence.
– Dozens of gas-
These attacks may have replaced “bigger” attacks, the spokesman for the Catalan police said.
The explosion in Alcanar, which caused at least one death, would in reality have avoided another drama of greater magnitude. According to the police, the assailants would then have lost the components necessary for the manufacture of explosive devices.
The police took out dozens of gas cylinders from the house, which are unknown if they were to be used as receptacles for explosive devices, according to an AFP photographer.
The double attack was therefore committed in a more rudimentary way, without being “of the amplitude hoped” by the jihadists, according to the police.
Mariano Rajoy, in Barcelona since Thursday evening, held on Friday to stress the need for union, while precisely the separatists in power in Catalonia threaten to leave Spain following a referendum of self-determination scheduled on 1 October .