Police: Barcelona terror attacker found with fake bomb belt, shot by agents

Redacción Agencias | 8/22/2017, 7:17 a.m.
Police: Barcelona terror attacker found with fake bomb belt, shot by agents
El señalado de los atentados fue abatido | Foto Cortesía

The suspected Barcelona terror attacker, who last week drove a van through the Rambla boulevard killing 13 people was on Monday found wearing a fake explosives belt and shot dead by police, the regional force said.

A manhunt for the alleged Barcelona attacker, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, had been active since Thursday, when he was believed to have left the scene in a hijacked car, and led security forces to Subirats, a village 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of the city.

"We can confirm that the man shot down in Subirats was Younes Abouyaaqoub, the author of the terrorist attack in Barcelona," said the Mossos d'Esquadra regional police on their official Twitter account.

The Mossos' bomb disposal unit (TEDAX) used a robot to approach the belt and sources close to the investigation told EFE that they had determined it was fake.

Following the attack in Barcelona, five men believed to be part of the same terror cell drove a car into crowds in the seaside town of Cambrils while sporting fake bomb belts.

They were shot dead by police on the scene after killing one person and injuring five others.

All others believed to be linked to the attack have been detained or are dead.

Earlier Monday, the TEDAX had removed around 120 butane canisters from a house in the seaside resort of Alcanar, where the alleged terror cell made up of 12 attackers, including Abouyaaqoub, had been assembling bombs to be used in their attacks.

However, the house where the bombs were being prepared suffered an accidental explosion that investigators think prompted the cell to opt for vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils instead.

One suspect linked to the house was arrested and provided interrogators with relevant information that advanced the investigation, Mossos chief Josep Lluís Trapero said.

Investigators had "very relevant and solid evidence" that an imam, Abdelbaki al-Satty, who could have been one of the organizers of the attacks, was killed in the explosion.

Al-Satty, who was an imam in Ripoll and, according to one of Abouyaaqoub's cousins, the person who radicalized the members of the terror cell involved in the Catalan attacks, could be one of at least two suspects who died in the blast, said Trapero.