Published: Tue, August 22, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Barcelona attack: Spain says terror cell dismantled

Barcelona attack: Spain says terror cell dismantled

Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido revealed earlier today that the terror cell behind the attack in Barcelona has been dismantled. Authorities are investigating what they believe to be a terrorist cell of at least 12 members with possible bases in different locations across the region of Catalonia.

The Spanish government made a decision to maintain its anti-terrorism alert level at 4 but pledged to reinforce security measures at the same time, the Interior Ministry said Saturday in a statement.

He said that the government would reinforce security in crowded areas and tourist hotspots.

But Joaquim Forn, in charge of interior matters in Catalonia where the attacks took place, downplayed Zoido's comments.

Three Moroccans and one Spaniard are in police custody.

With investigators working round the clock to identify the network behind the bloodshed, police said they were hunting for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub without confirming reports he was the driver who ploughed a van into pedestrians in Barcelona on Thursday.

It is thought that the 45-year-old Abdelbaki es Satti, who is described by the El Mundo newspaper as "solitary, reserved and nearly hermit like", is responsible for radicalizing the members of the terrorist cell, which carried out the attacks, leaving 14 people dead and more than 120 injured in Barcelona and Cambrils.

The French official said Spain had flagged a rental van that was believed to have crossed the border to the north.

Officials also announced a series of controlled explosions on Saturday in Alcanar, where the attacks were planned from a rented house, which was destroyed in a blast on Wednesday. But the security incident was a sign that authorities were still on high alert in the city as a manhunt for one of the attackers continues.

Spanish police are continuing the search for the man who they consider to be the final member of a cell that carried out vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a nearby town that killed 14 and injured more than 120 others.

Another person died after a separate attack in the resort town of Cambrils, where police shot five suspects dead.

But the Spanish government was quick to insist on Saturday that the situation was under control. The police firstly thought the driver was Moussa Oukabir, one of the terrorists gunned down in Cambrils, and later they turned their attention to Younes Abouyaaqoub.

In Morocco, their father Said said he was "in shock" and "completely devastated" by the news.

Roser Venura says police told them to immediately leave the Ventura Soler cava vineyard, located between the towns of Sadurni d'Anoia and Subirats, 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Barcelona. "I don't want to lose my two sons".

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