The results of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils were revised upwards on Monday 21 August 2017. Fifteen people lost their lives in the attacks in Catalonia. At the same time, the driver of the Ramblas van now has a name and a face in the eyes of the investigators. It would be a 22-year-old Moroccan, who would be called Younes Abu Yaaqoub. There are also doubts about the fate of an imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty.
The Spanish investigators, who carried out searches on Monday, made public the name and photo of the suspected driver of the vehicle who knocked down dozens of passersby on the Ramblas on Thursday. The Catalan police first announced it had identified it on Twitter, on Monday, without naming it.
Joaquim Forn, an adviser inside the Catalan government, then told Catalunya Radio, a local radio station: ” There is every reason to believe that Younes Abu Yaaqoub was behind the wheel of the van .”
This 22-year-old Moroccan is the only suspect of the attacks that have hit Spain to be still on the run. The Spanish authorities explained that they had officially given their identity on Monday to all European police forces.
A ” dangerous ” and potentially ” armed ” individual, warn the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police.
” He can not be dead “
The investigators ruled out the possibility that the man died in the explosion, Wednesday, August 16, of the jihadists hideout in Alcanar. It is there, 200 km from Barcelona, that the cell responsible for the double attack was clearly preparing one or more large-scale attacks.
Even though the police still have to identify human remains found there, ” it’s obvious [he did not die at Alcanar] because he was driving the van, he can not be Death, “says Joaquim Forn.
According to him, ” this person is not only sought in Catalonia but in all the European countries “. The police forces did not rule out Younes Abou Yaaqoub being able to cross the French border while saying that there was ” no concrete” element on this subject.
Law enforcement officials are currently trying to determine ” whether the driver was able to use the vehicle with or without assistance “, according to Joaquim Forn. The investigation has already established that the cell responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils had connections in several European countries, including Switzerland, Belgium and possibly France. Four siblings from Morocco would be at the heart of the two attacks that have affected Catalonia.
Where is Abdelbaki Es Satty?
The authorities suspect Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty of having indoctrinated the cell, composed of a dozen people. He lived, like some of the assailants, at Ripoll, a small town at the foot of the Pyrenees. He is about forty years old, he is also Moroccan and has disappeared since last week.
The police evoke the possibility that he died in the explosion of the house of Alcanar, where it discovered more than a hundred gas cylinders likely to have been used for the manufacture of homemade bombs.
It is also known that Abdelbaki Es Satty stayed in the suburbs of Brussels in early 2016 and that he made a prison before 2012, where he had established ties with a man accused of terrorism, whose police did not reveal the identity.
Younes Abu Yaakub also had his name inscribed on the list of the faithful of the mosque of Ripoll, where the mysterious Abdelbaki Es Satty preached.