Terrorist expressed remorse to family before carrying out attack on coastal town

In letter Said Aalla apologized for “inconvenience” and asked them to donate money to poor prior to rampage in Cambrils

Family members of Said Aalla on August 17, 2017 (ACN)
Family members of Said Aalla on August 17, 2017 (ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 7, 2018 07:24 PM

One of the terrorists responsible for the attack in the coastal town of Cambrils last year had written a “farewell letter” to his family prior to carrying out the atrocity. He also apologized for what he was going to do. The information was revealed in the summary of the Mossos d’Esquadra police report to which the Catalan News Agency (ACN) has had access to.

The Mossos believe that the letter “shows his absolute certainty that he was going to die immediately.” The letter was found in the bedroom where he was residing at the time. Said Aalla, the terrorist in question, was killed in Cambrils. His brother Mohammed was arrested before being allowed to walk free.

“If death happens, I leave a note for the family. I apologize for the inconvenience I have caused, especially my parents and especially my mother,” Aalla wrote before the attack. The letter also acted as a will. “I leave them (Aalla’s parents) in charge of selling all my things to cover what I owe (1,000 euros to my mother and 1,000 to Mohamed.) Give what’s left to the poor,” the letter states in Spanish.

Also found in Said's room, according to the report, was a list of "various tourist destinations on the Catalan coast, with some crossed off." 

Given that both the Ramblas in Barcelona, and Cambrils are touristic hubs with large influxes of people, and considering "the guidelines given by DAESH to attack places of this nature in Western countries to cause the greatest number of casualties possible," investigators believe that the list can be seen as "possible targets to commit attacks." 

A letter or vindication

Another letter was found at the house in Alcanar where the terrorists were preparing for the attacks. According to Catalan police, the document appears to be "the beginning of a letter of vindication, certainly of the attack the perpetrators were thinking of commiting, and that it was going to be written by the leader and instigator of the cell." The mastermind was Abdelbaki Es Satty, the local imam in Ripoll, where the majority of the group resided. 

Investigators into the terrorist attacks also point out to lines where the group "refer to themselves as the 'soldiers of the Islamic State in the Land of Andalusia,' meaning it can be assumed, therefore, that their ideology was of the Daesh terrorist organization."

Terror in Barcelona

Another text was found during the investigations that could also link the group of terrorists directly to the Islamic State, also known as Daesh. In the report's summary, the Catalan police say that inside the van used to run people over on  the Ramblas in Barcelona, there were "several manuscript sheets in the Arabic language, but with Latin spelling, containing some phrases that, according to some Islamic interpretations, Prophet Muhammad had said in his life as a call to arms to fight the enemy or go to war." The investigators do not wish to establish this direct link, however, admitting that other Islamic sources reject this claim, arguing they are not attributable to the prophet."