A militant Islamist terror cell responsible for the van that killed 13 people terror incident had planned other terror attacks against churches and monuments, a suspect told the court on Tuesday. The interrogated terrorist reportedly noted that the terror cell was headed by an imam who taught the cell members, which are mostly of Moroccan descent, in the ways of jihad and explained that martyrdom is a great thing according to the Koran. The imam's name is Mohamed Houli Chemlal and he was speaking to a Spanish High Court.
The questioning of the terrorists lasted for a full day. Subsequently 3 of the 4 were remanded into custody while the fourth was released on specific conditions. Those conditions were not released to the press. For the record, the other terrorist's names are Driss Oukabir, Salh El Karib and Mohamed Aalla. Of the four suspects, only the imam Chemlal has admitted to involvement in the bombing plot say sources close to the investigation. All three other . suspects claim to have had no involvement.
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On Monday Spanish police shot 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoud to death, who was identified as the driver of the van that careened through the densely populated Las Ramblas promenade in Barcelona, murdering 13 people and injuring multiple residents and tourists from various countries.
The Islamic State (IS) has claimed full responsibility for the attack. They've also claimed another lethal assault that came only hours later, in the resort town of Cambrils, on the souther district of Barcelona.
Only flawed bomb construction avoided a more devastating attack, authorities said after taking a closer look at a blast Wednesday evening in the town of Alcanar that was first written off as a household gas explosion. At least one person was killed and several injured in the home where police said the deadly plan took shape.
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The terror incident in Cambrils saw a car ram a pedestrian prior to its occupants getting out of their vehicle and and attempting to stab random people. The terrorists donned fake explosive belts and were shot to death by local police before they could harm any more people. One local Spanish woman was killed in the attack.
The imam who orchestrated the Cambrils attack, Abdelbaki Es Satty, was killed a day prior when he was making bombs and they blew up in the house. Surely the terrorists he groomed were not happy they had to resort to using fake explosive belts during their attack. Experts say that fake explosive belts are less deadly than real ones.
Police investigators found multiple plane tickets showing the groups intention was to bolt off to Brussels, Belgium after the attack. In light of this evidence, Belgium will investigate further ties to terror cells that may be within their country.
Authorities found a note written in Arabic, in the ruins of the explosion, that roughly translated: "Short letter from the soldiers of Islamic State in the land of al-Andalus for the crusaders, the hateful, the sinners, the unjust, the corruptors."
Pertaining to the Barcelona attack, the captured imam told the High Court that hey acquired their bomb making supplies locally in Spain, from other countries and via the internet. Chemlal had the gaul to tell the court that he 'regretted' his part in the plot. If I'm not mistaken, from that statement, he is now minus 72 virgins.
The terror cell was creating explosives and plotted to utilize gas canisters to increase damaged delivered. Police discovered over 120 butane lighters at a house in Alcanar, as well as evidence traces of triacetone triperoxide, and unstable explosive agent that can readily be concocted with household chemicals.
La Vanguardia stated that Moroccan police had taken a man into custody who had been in communication with Moussa Oukabir who was one of the suspects killed by police in Cambrils and that he may have played a key part in connecting the local cell with the Islamic State.
Spanish authorities reported that a man whom they believe lived or spent time in Abouyaaqoub's residence was arrested in Casablanca.