Published: Wed, August 23, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Barcelona Van Attackers Plotted Major Bombings, Suspect Tells Spanish Court

Barcelona Van Attackers Plotted Major Bombings, Suspect Tells Spanish Court

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 cousin told the newspaper that the imam would meet them for hours at a time inside a parked van.

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 handed himself in to police, asserting his younger brother Moussa Oukabir, 17, who was killed in Cambrils, had stolen his documents.

A National Court spokesman said Chemlal testified Tuesday at the court for just over an hour before Judge Fernando Andreu, who will decide later whether the four should be jailed or released.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal, who was detained after surviving the blast, was also in the dock. More than 120 people were injured, most in Barcelona.

Police say the imam suspected of leading the militant cell, Abdelbaki Es Satty, died a day before the Barcelona attack when a house the group was using to build bombs blew up.

Catalan's police force, Mossos, confirmed officers shot Abouyaaqoub dead after a member of the public spotted him in a petrol station in the early afternoon.

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.

One of the surviving suspects of last week's terror attacks in Spain has told a court that a bigger atrocity was planned.

Police raided the house in Ripoll north of Barcelona where Oukabir 17 lived with his brother Driss 28
Police raided the house in Ripoll north of Barcelona where Oukabir 17 lived with his brother Driss 28 Francisco Seco Associated Press

The court hearing of the four suspects caps five days of angst following the twin vehicle assaults.

Suspect Driss Oukabir was arrested Thursday in the northeastern town of Ripoll, as were two others identified by Spanish media as Mohammed Aalla and Salh el Karib.

Nine hours after the Barcelona attack, police shot and killed five people in Cambrils as they were carrying out a second auto attack which killed one woman and injured six others.

Police found 120 butane gas canisters and traces of a home-made explosive in the rubble of the house at Alcanar, where they say two of the plotters were killed.

The other three were arrested in the small town of Ripoll north of Barcelona, where most of the members of the suspected cell had lived.

Also in court were Mohamed Aallaa, one of three brothers allegedly involved, and Salh El Karib, who manages a store that allows people to make calls overseas. However, the man was killed in the warehouse explosion in Alcanar.

He said that "this group came to Paris but it was a quick arrival and departure".

They arrived at the National Court in Madrid early Tuesday.

Younes Abouyaaquob, who is suspected of driving the van through crowds of tourists on Las Ramblas, was shot dead by police on Monday.

This item has been corrected to show the suspect's surname is Chemlal, sted Chemal.

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