Barcelona Attack Suspects Held Without Bail, 1 Freed

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 22, 2017

An explosion at a house in Alcanar, which is about 125 miles southwest of Barcelona, took place before the Las Ramblas attack.

Chemlal has confessed to his participation in the Islamist cell behind the attack, but the other three arrested men had said they were innocent. The attacks and a bloody getaway in which a man was stabbed to death left 15 dead and over 120 wounded.

Investigators have said that the Barcelona and Cambrils terror attacks are closely linked as that was hatched in a house that the plotters had used as a bomb factory, the Telegraph reported.

They are giving evidence in Madrid before National Court Judge Fernando Andreu, who will decide whether they should be jailed or released.

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.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors said Tuesday the four suspects would be interrogated in the presence of lawyers provided by the court throughout the day. The person says Oukabir said his first version of events - telling police that his documents were stolen by his brother - was something he said out of fear.

La Vanguardia said Moroccan authorities had arrested a man who had been in touch with Moussa Oukabir, one of the suspects killed by police in Cambrils, and may have played a role in connecting the Catalan cell with ISIS. Police believe the blast foiled the group's plans for a much bigger attack using explosives.

Oukabir, Aalla and el Karib were arrested on Thursday in the north-eastern town of Ripoll.

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia said on Tuesday he walked some 40 km (25 miles) from Sant Just Desvern, the town on the outskirts of Barcelona where he ditched the hijacked vehicle, to Subirats, where he was shot dead.

The French daily Le Parisien reported on Monday that the auto came through the Paris region about a week before Thursday and Friday's attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 15 people.

But he told BFM TV that French authorities had been unaware of the existence of the Catalan cell, saying they were "exclusively Spanish".

Collomb is due to host Spanish counterpart Juan Ignacio Zoido on Wednesday for talks due to include anti-terrorism cooperation.

The cell's other eight members have either been killed by police - five were shot dead Friday and one Monday after a manhunt - or accidently blew themselves up, like Es Satty and another man, while preparing explosives in a house in the coastal town of Alcanar, south of Barcelona.

Four alleged members of a terror cell accused of killing 15 people in attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort appeared in court Tuesday, a day after the last missing member of the cell was gunned down by police.

The group has claimed responsibility for both attacks on pedestrians - one Thursday by a van that mowed down people on Barcelona's famed Las Ramblas promenade and another early Friday in Cambrils.

This story has been corrected to show 13 were killed in Barcelona attack, instead of 14, and to correct the spelling of suspect's surname to Chemlal.

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