Two arrested in Morocco over suspected links to Barcelona attackers


Barcelona Police has raided house of an Imam in connection with the terror attack in the city.

One of the city's busiest streets, the promenade is normally thronged with tourists and street performers until well into the night.

The massive manhunt for the last outstanding suspect, Younes Abouyaaqoub, ended Monday in a rural area known for its vineyards about 45 kilometers west of Barcelona.

He was wearing a fake explosives belt and shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest") before he was shot dead by police, said reports. Had they succeeded, the attacks Thursday could have been far more devastating, Catalonia's police chief, Josep Lluis Trapero, said.

Among the dead and the injured were nationals from Australia, Britain, China, France, the Netherlands, Mauritania, Pakistan and Venezuela.

Abdelbaki Es Satty is suspected of masterminding the Barcelona attacks
Abdelbaki Es Satty is suspected of masterminding the Barcelona attacks

One woman was killed when the vehicle mowed down pedestrians early Friday in Cambrils.

The dead and wounded in the two attacks came from 34 countries.

Also found, it said, was a note in Arabic entitled: "Short letter from the soldiers of Islamic State in the land of al-Andalus for the crusaders, the hateful, the sinners, the unjust, the corruptors".

The four are the only surviving suspects from what was believed to be a 12-man terror cell that rammed a van into pedestrians on a tourist-packed boulevard in Barcelona on Thursday. The Moroccan-born suspect remained on the loose late Sunday.

The prosecutor has asked for Oukabir to be jailed without bail before trial - along with the first suspect to testify, Mohamed Houli Chemlal. The fourth man, Mohamed Aalla, was released on certain conditions.

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One of the issues being investigated is whether the cell had help from overseas after it was revealed some members of the cell made a "rapid" visit to Paris on 11th and 12th of August, while Abdelbaki es Satti, the imam who is thought to have radicalized the terrorists and who was killed in the Alcanar explosion, is known to have spent considerable time in Belgium.

The four are the only alleged members of the group still alive after the driver of the van that ploughed through the crowd in Barcelona, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, was shot and killed by police on Monday.

It later emerged that Abouyaaquob was also suspected of stabbing to death the driver of a vehicle he hijacked while trying to evade capture by the authorities, bringing the death toll to 15. The Ford Focus was found in a town just outside of Barcelona.

Moroccan, 27, also arrested in Ripoll.

Police were trying to determine whether Es Satty was killed in a botched bomb-making operation on Wednesday, the eve of the Barcelona bloodshed.

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An imam in Ripoll, 44-years-old. Two other victims were identified as Belgian and Italian citizens.

Four men have been detained, and the rest have been killed, either by police or in an explosion believed to have been accidentally detonated by the suspects themselves in their bomb factory in the seaside town of Alcanar.

One said the bombs were being made to target a Barcelona monument where the imam planned to blow himself up as well, the court official said.

Aalla, who said an Audi A3 used in the attack in Cambrils was registered under his name but used by a sibling, had one brother killed in Cambrils and another who is believed to be a second casualty of the Alcanar house blast.

The sheer size of the cell and the close family relations among the attackers recalled the November 2015 attacks in Paris, in which Islamic State attackers struck the national stadium, a Paris concert hall and bars and restaurants almost simultaneously, leaving 130 people dead.

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