Spanish police detain main Barcelona van attack suspect
BARCELONAThe main suspect in the Barcelona van attack that killed 13 people last week, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, was detained on Aug. 21 in Sant Sadurni de Noya, west of Barcelona, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia said.
Spanish police declined to confirm the report but said on Twitter shortly before that an "incident" was under way in Subirats, 10 km (6 miles) away, without giving further details.
Several Spanish media, including Cadena Ser radio, said one man wearing an explosive belt had been shot dead in Subirats.
Spanish authorities had been officially notifying European police on Aug. 21 of the identity of the driver who ploughed his van into crowds in Barcelona to enable the launch of a Europe-wide manhunt, the regional government said on Aug. 21, as the death toll in two attacks rose to 15.
“This person is no longer just being sought in Catalonia but in all European countries, this is an effort by European police,” Joaquim Forn, in charge of home affairs in the northeastern Spanish region, told Catalan radio.
Police extended the search for the man who killed 14 people in Barcelona by ramming a van into crowds after details emerged of how he fled on foot through the streets of the old town before disappearing.
Authorities are looking for Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan-born man, who they believe was behind the wheel of a van which left a trail of dead and injured on a famed boulevard.
The Catalan regional government said authorities could not rule out that he had slipped across the border into France.
He is “dangerous and could be armed,” police said, as officials announced that they have identified all 15 victims.
Cell of 12 men
Abouyaaqoub fled the scene on foot before later stabbing a man to death and taking his car to escape, police said and released photos of him yesterday.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had claimed the attacks.
Investigators believe the terror cell comprised at least 12 men, some of them teenagers. An imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, 40, is among the suspects, believed to have radicalised youths in Ripoll, a small town at the foot of the Pyrenees.
Others thought to be part of the suspected jihadist militant network have been arrested, shot by police or killed in an explosion at a house in Catalonia a day before Aug. 17 van attack.
The attack in Barcelona was linked to another hours later in the resort down of Cambrils, further down the Mediterranean coastline from Barcelona.
A car crashed into passers-by there and attackers got out to try and stab people. Five suspects were shot dead, while a Spanish woman died in the attack.
Abouyaaqoub abandoned the van after zig-zagging down Las Ramblas avenue at high speed, police have said. Witnesses had seen him walking away unarmed from the scene.