Barcelona attack suspect reveals bigger attack with explosives was planned


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.

Their court appearance in Madrid comes one day after police shot dead 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, the van driver responsible for the deaths in Barcelona. They each are appearing before the Madrid high court. The court is closed to media but people inside the trial have been briefing news agencies.

MADRID | one of four suspects still alive, the attacks in Catalonia, Mohamed Houli Chemlal, admitted before a judge on Tuesday that the cell was preparing an attack of much larger, a-t-on learned from justice source. Authorities did not confirm speculation that they were targeting the Sagrada Familia cathedral.

The testimony came from Mohamed Houli Chemlal, who was first to testify.

The terrorists' broader plans are believed to have failed after a stockpile of gas canisters, to be used in an attack, blew up their safe house in Alcanar.

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Another suspects told the court that he did rent the vans used in the attack but thought they would be used to move house.

He has denied any involvment and has claimed that his brother had stolen his passport that was found in the van along with other documentation.

Two of the suspects said the imam was the cell's ideologist, while only one of the four acknowledged being a member of the 12-person cell. However, the man was killed in the warehouse explosion in Alcanar. All were young men of North African descent. His brother was one of the five radicals shot dead Friday by police after a vehicle attack on pedestrians in Cambrils.

A Spanish woman died in the attack.

The other suspects are Omar Hychami and Houssaine Ayouaaguoub "who is presumed to be a family member of Younes Aouyaaquoub, the suspected driver of the Ramblas van who remains on the run", added the Telegraph.

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While on the run, the 22-year-old stabbed to death the driver of a vehicle he hijacked to get away.

Catalan police said that although all 12 suspects were either dead or in custody, they would continue to investigate whether the cell had global links.

Several hours later, a similar vehicle attack in Cambrils saw a auto run into pedestrians, with one occupant jumping out and stabbing a woman, who later died.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has confirmed reports that an Audi used by the attackers in the Spanish town of Cambrils had been photographed in the Paris region for speeding some time before last week's attacks. Spanish police have also been working with Belgian authorities to investigate a visit that the imam, Es Satty, made there previous year.

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