Two arrested in Morocco over suspected links to Barcelona attackers

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 25, 2017

One of the four suspects detained after last week's terror attacks in Catalonia was released Thursday pending further investigation. Investigators are still trying to trace their journey, specifically a visit to Paris by one of the key suspects, Younes Abouyaaqoub, who was shot dead by Spanish police on Monday.

The cell was making explosives and planned to use butane gas canisters to make a more powerful bomb, guided by tutorials found on the internet, Chemlal said. The "Islamic State" terror group was quick to claim responsibility for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, but often claims attacks it had no concrete role in.

El Karib lived in Ripoll, the town where the extremist cell was allegedly formed.

Colau has come under fire for the absence of bollards - short concrete posts created to stop vehicles from driving onto sidewalks like Las Ramblas in Barcelona where a van mowed down pedestrians last Thursday, killing 13 and injuring over a hundred.

Spain is now on a level 4 (on a scale of 5) alert for a possible terrorist attack, although security measures at stations, airports and places where large groups of people gather have been increased in the wake of the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks.

The official says Mohamed Houli Chemlal told a judge that the cell was preparing to attack Barcelona monuments with explosives and the imam meant to blow himself up when they did. The five assailants in the vehicle were shot dead by police at the scene.

Two arrested in Morocco over suspected links to Barcelona attackers

They believe that the accidental explosion led the group to abandon plans for a bomb attack and to stage a vehicle assault instead. The 21-year-old arrived at court wearing hospital-issue pajamas, with a bandaged hand and cuts to his face and bare ankles.

Police confirmed on Thursday the identity of the second body found in the house used as an explosives workshop as that of Youssef Aalla. Militants have used trucks and cars as weapons to kill almost 130 people in France, Germany, Britain, Sweden and Spain over the past 13 months.

As well as injuring Chemlal, the blast killed suspected plot mastermind Abdelbaki Es Satty and likely killed Youssef Aallaa, one of the terrorists.

A person who attended proceedings at Spain's National Court says attack suspect Driss Oukabir told the prosecutor he had rented the vans used in last week's attacks - but says he did that because he thought they were going to be used for a house move.

He was reimbursed in cash and was paid an additional five euros (£4.60), the documents said.

Others said Es Satty, who was 44 and had served a jail term for drug-trafficking in Spain, had left more than 15 years ago and had not returned recently. "Since he was convicted in Spain. he no longer came to the village, but met up with his family in Tangier". It featured two men speaking in Spanish, reports Efe news.

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