Four suspects in Spain terror attacks appear in Madrid court

August 22, 2017 10:30 pm

Journalists wait in front of the court, on August 22, 2017 before the arrival of four men suspected of involvement in the terror cell that carried out twin attacks in . (Photo by AFP)

Four men accused of being members of a terror cell responsible for last week’s twin attacks in the northern Spanish city of Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils have appeared in court.
The four, the last survivors of the 12-member terror group, were taken to the High Court in Madrid on Tuesday.
Two members of the groups had died on Wednesday in an explosion at a house where explosives were being made in Alcanar Platja. Police killed five members of the groups in Cambrils during the manhunt launched after Thursday’s attacks.
The eighth member of the group, Younes Abouyaaqoub, was shot dead by police in the town of Subirats on Monday.
22-year-old Abouyaaqoub was suspected to be driver of the van and the lone attacker in Las Ramblas, Barcelona attack which left more than a dozen people dead and scores injured.
Police said that after the attack, Abouyaaqoub had escaped on foot, stabbing to death a man, who was parking his car, and fleeing in the victim’s vehicle.
Two members of the groups had died on Wednesday in an explosion at a house where explosives were being made in Alcanar Platja. Police killed five members of the groups in Cambrils. The eighth member of the group, Younes Abouyaaqoub, was shot dead by police in the town of Subirats on Monday.
22-year-old Abouyaaqoub was suspected to be driver of the van and the lone attacker in Las Ramblas, Barcelona attack which left more than a dozen people dead and scores injured.

Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, deceased suspect in deadly Barcelona attack

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia said on Tuesday that he walked some 40 kilometers from Sant Just Desvern, where he ditched the hijacked car, to Subirats, where he was shot dead by police.
The suspected perpetrator had reportedly changed his clothes, walked by night and hid during the day, the paper said citing sources involved in the investigation.
Neutralized cell  
Daesh Takfiri organization, which is mainly concentrated in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

Tow tusk pulls away the van that rammed into a crowd Las Rambla Avenue in Barcelona, August 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Most of the 12 suspects lived in the town of Ripoll, set in forested hills beneath the Pyrenees north of Barcelona near the French border, and most were young men of Moroccan descent.
One of those who appeared before investigating magistrate for special crimes, Judge Fernando Andreu, was Driss Oukabir.
Driss Oukabir’s documents were found in the abandoned van used in the Ramblas Barcelona attack.
He turned himself in to police, protesting his innocence and saying his younger brother Moussa Oukabir, 17, who was killed in Cambrils, had stolen his documents.
Also in court was Mohammed Aalla, owner of the Audi car used in the Cambrils attack.
One of his brothers, Said, was killed in Cambrils and a second, Youssef, is believed by police to have died in an explosion at a house used by the plotters at Alcanar, southwest of Barcelona, the day before the Barcelona attack.
Mohamed Houli Chemlal, arrested after being hurt in the blast at Alcanar, also appeared in court as did Salah el Karib, who ran an internet cafe in Ripoll that, according to La Vanguardia newspaper, was used to send money to Morocco.

This photo released by Spanish police shows Driss Oukabir, whose documents were used to rent the van.

At Tuesday’s closed-door hearing, Andreu was planned to read out charges against the men, expected to include counts of , murder and weapons possession. Andreu was then to ask the accused if they wish to testify, in which case he would question them.
The hearing was likely to end in the suspects being remanded in custody while the judge conducts an investigation that could take months or even years before a trial is organized.
A Ripoll imam who police suspect may have radicalized the young men, Abdelbaki Es Satty, is believed to have died in the explosion in Alcanar. Police believe the blast foiled the group’s plans for a much bigger attack using explosives.
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