Monday, 25 September, 2017

Spanish police kill suspected Barcelona attack driver Younes Abouyaaqoub

Spain Hunts For Driver In Van Rampage, Says Islamist Cell Dismantled Barcelona attacks: Spanish royals join memorial for victims
Kenny Thornton | 22 August, 2017, 01:41

The hunt for the driver who killed 13 people in the Barcelona attack has been extended across Europe, a Spanish government official said on Monday.

"We can confirm that the man shot down in Subirats was Younes Abouyaaqoub, the author of the terrorist attack in Barcelona", said the Mossos d'Esquadra regional police on their official Twitter account.

The man is said to have shouted 'Allahu Akbar [God is the greatest]', as police shot and arrested him on Monday afternoon.

Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero said that of the 12 suspects in the double attacks, only Abouyaaqoub remained at large. That brings the total number of people killed as a result of last Thursday's attacks to 15.

Investigators believe the victim was the owner of the vehicle, which was hijacked by Abouyaaqoub to make his getaway after the Barcelona assault.

The attack on Barcelona was followed hours later by a similar assault in the seaside town of Cambrils, during which police shot and killed five attackers.

Authorities said Abouyaaqoub escaped the scene on foot, then carjacked a vehicle, killing the driver.

Essati, a Moroccan national who lived in Ripoll for last two years, served as imam in a local mosque, where he taught the Koran and the Arabic language. Abouyaaqoub is also believed to have hijacked a auto and killed its occupant while trying to escape, Reuters reported. Police believe explosives manufactured there were likely to have been planned for an attack.

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Everyone so far known in the cell grew up in Ripoll, a town in the Catalan foothills 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Barcelona. Perez's body was later found in the vehicle with stab wounds, making him the 15th person to die in the sequence of attacks.

Authorities found 120 propane canisters at the blast site in Alcanar, about a two-hour drive south of Barcelona, alongside explosive material that has been employed in bombs.

Family and friends of the young men, almost all with roots in Morocco, described them as well-integrated members of the community in Ripoll, a quintessentially Catalan town nestled into the foothills of the Pyrenees.

He is "dangerous and could be armed", police in Catalonia said.

"I knew everyone implicated in the attacks". They took care of me, booked my flight when I went on vacation.

Regional authorities said Monday that 48 people were still hospitalized from the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, eight of them in critical condition.

The police operation against Younes Abouyaaqoub began at 16:00 local time after Catalan police had "received information of a suspicious person in Subirats". "We keep working", they confirmed.

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