Spain was warned of a risk of an attack in Barcelona
Joaquim Forn, Regional Intelligence Officer, and Regional Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero, at a press conference in Barcelona on 31 August 2017
Spain was warned in May that an attack could occur on the Ramblas in Barcelona, where an attack on 17 August killed 14 people, but said the alert had “little credibility”, acknowledged Thursday The Catalan authorities.
In charge of the interior of the Catalan regional government, Joaquim Forn, and regional police chief Josep Lluis Trapero, acknowledged in a press conference that he received an alert, but not from the United States, The newspaper El Periodico de Cataluña.
The paper published the facsimile of a message in English that it presents as coming from the American national anti-terrorist center (NCTC), which associates the CIA and the FBI, and addressed to the Spanish forces of the order.
“Unconfirmed information of unknown truth dating back to the end of May 2017 indicated that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) plan to carry out terrorist attacks Not specified during the summer against tourist sites very frequented in Barcelona, and in particular the street of Rambla, “reads in this text dated 25 May.
It is not the original text but a transcript, however, admitted the director of the newspaper, Enric Hernandez, which would explain several errors of spelling and typography in the document.
Flowers and messages in tribute to the victims of the attack in Barcelona, 21 August 2017 in Barcelona
“The document is a montage,” said Joaquim Forn. “The warning about a possible attack in the summer in places such as the Ramblas came from other sources,” he added.
The head of the Catalan police also confirmed that he received such a warning on 25 May, but not from “either the CIA or the NCTC,” he said without revealing his origin.
After analyzing the information and bringing it to the attention of the Spanish government, the authorities finally concluded that “the warning had very little credibility,” Joaquim Forn said.
There would also be “absolutely no link between this information and the attacks of 17 August,” he added.
According to one of the members of the jihadist cell planning the attack, their initial objective was also not the central aisle of the Ramblas in Barcelona but monuments.
According to Radio Cadena SER, citing sources of the fight against terrorism, the document unveiled by El Periodico would be authentic.
When questioned by the AFP, the Spanish intelligence services refused to confirm or deny the information. The Ministry of the Interior has not responded to the solicitations of the AFP.
Last August 17, on the Ramblas, a young Moroccan living in Spain drove into the crowd at the wheel of a van, killing 14 people and injuring more than 120 people.
In total, he and his alleged accomplices have killed 16 people in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils, 120 km to the south.
The two attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.