On Friday, Barcelona’s pedestrian area of Las Ramblas was ploughed into by a van. The vehicle sped through crowds killing thirteen on the spot and injuring hundred’s of others. Neither of the two suspects arrested, later on by Catalan police was the vehicle’s driver.
The van was rented using documents of a person named Driss Oubakir. Driss Oubakir is Moroccan-born in his twenties. Police released the suspect’s photo earlier but it has been reported that his documents were stolen.
ISIS claimed through Amaq News Agency that the van attack was organized by ‘Islamic State soldiers.’ But, ISIS did not clearly back their statement with evidence.
Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy too called the incident as another ‘Terrorist attack’ by some Militant group. In a cabinet meeting, Rajoy said:
“The fight against terrorism is the principal priority for free and open societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global,”
The Las Ramblas attack happened during the peak period of tourist’s visits. Furthermore, eye-witnesses reported that van driver intentionally swayed the car from side to side to target people and then sped down the boulevard. Regional government of Catalan has reported that tourists from 24 countries were killed and injured during the Barcelona attack.
Incident of Cambrils Attack
Spanish police has been reported to have killed 5 terrorists as they were suspected of conducting another attack in Cambril, Catalonia.
During the second attack, six bystanders and a police officer got injured after being intentionally hit by a car. The five men in the car were wearing explosive belts and attacked pedestrians by killing with knives until police shot them dead.
Alcanar Police Operation:
Police sources have reported discovery of gas cylinders in dozens in Alcanar town, located towards south-west of Barcelona. Alcanar operation revealed that residents were involved in preparation of explosives.
Barcelona shows Solidarity against Terror Attacks:
On Friday, thousands came out on streets to display their solidarity against terrorist attacks. They laid flowers and held a minute’s silence. The crowds chanted loudly, ‘We are not afraid’ to show their power against terror. The ceremony was attended by King of Spain, Felipe VI, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and President of Catalan, Charles Puigdemont.
Analysis of Terroristic Patterns:
Europe has been under vehicular terrorists attack since July, 2016. Cars and vans are being employed as new terrorizing equipments that disrupted Bastille Day celebrations last year. Afterwards, Berlin’s Christmas market was targeted. The terrorism via cars and vans continued to happen in London, Finsbury Park, and London Bridge and so on.
Moreover, there’s a pattern in attacks in Barcelona and its neighboring regions. Authorities are linking up the attacks in Barcelona with that of Cambril and Alcanar. The regions have been put on high alert to avoid future losses.
Whether it was jihadist attack or not? No tangible evidence could be gathered in favor of the argument. Yet, Catalan’s police are after terror suspects but so far the effort has been to no avail.
Spain’s Security forces have braced themselves up to face further attacks by taking greater security measures and carrying out operations such as in Alcanar.