By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier:
18 August 2017
At least 13 people have been killed and over 80 injured, 15 seriously, after a van ploughed through crowds of people on La Rambla, Barcelona’s busiest pedestrian street, Thursday afternoon. According to the Catalan regional interior minister, Joaquim Forn, it “is very possible” that the death toll will rise. …
Thursday’s attack in Barcelona is the sixth such attack in Europe in the last 13 months. Attacks where a person driving a vehicle ploughs through crowds in high-density areas have also taken place in Nice (France), Stockholm, Berlin, Paris and London. In several of these previous attacks, the terrorists were well known to the intelligence agencies. They were part of a broader milieu that has operated as a proxy force for the US and European powers’ regime-change operations in Libya and Syria.
The identity of the attackers in Spain remains unclear, however, though it appears that a coordinated attack has taken place. As of this writing, large-scale operations by police special forces are unfolding across Catalonia.
Just after the attack took place, the attacker was alleged to be Driss Oukabir, a Moroccan born in Aghbala, legally residing in Spain. He has a police record but was released from Figueres prison, which he left in 2012. However, Oukabir, after seeing his photographs in the media, came to the police station in the town of Ripoll, where he lives, to report the theft of his documents.
Oukabir is still under interrogation to clarify why he did not report the robbery earlier, but his brother Moussa, 18, has now been named as a suspect in the theft of his documents.
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