Second Catalonia attacks detainee released

Two of the four suspects remain in custody as evidence emerges of plans to attack top city landmarks and churches


The Spanish National Court
The Spanish National Court / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 24, 2017 05:15 PM

Spain’s National Court has ordered the release of another suspect arrested for last week’s attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. On Wednesday, Salh El Karib became the second of the four arrested terrorist suspects to be freed. His detention had been extended while the police searched the call center he owns in Ripoll.

The judge in Madrid had already ordered the release of Mohamed Aalla, but after hearing their testimony ordered that Mohamed Houli Chemlal and Driss Oukabir should continue to be held without bail.

Father’s reaction

Mohamed’s father, Brahim Aalla, claims that his son is innocent and that he was on the beach when the attacks were taking place. As for his other two sons, who died in Cambrils and Alcanar and are linked to the terror cell, he told ACN that he had not suspected their intentions, although one of them had started attending a mosque shortly before the attacks.

Sagrada Família among targets

The hearings in the National Court also revealed that the suspects were planning a major attack against landmarks and churches, including the Sagrada Família, a top choice among tourists in Barcelona. The only survivor of the Alcanar blast, Mohamed Houli Chemlal, told the judge, ACN has learned, that the imam in Ripoll, Abdelbaki Es Satty, was the cell ringleader, but the accidental blast in which Es Satty died led them to change their plans. Therefore, the incidents on La Rambla and in Cambrils were decided at the last minute. Houli Chemlal also showed regret and apologized.

The investigation also officially confirmed on Thursday that Youssef Aalla was the other person found dead amid the debris of Alcanar. Apart from the bomb-making workshop in Alcanar, police officers also found another site the terrorists had used to plan the attacks close to Cambrils, in Riudecanyes, according to the court order.

First ISIS video in Spanish

As the investigation and the juridical process continues, an Islamic State (ISIS) video appeared on social media on Wednesday. It was the first video from the extremist group to appear in Spanish, with a man’s voice promising revenge for the Inquisition. “With Allah’s permission, El Andalus will be a land of an Islamic caliphate,” said the narrator, who did not hide his face.