Catalan police have revealed that a deadly explosion in which one person was killed Wednesday at a house in Barcelona, Spain, was connected with Thursday’s van attack that left 13 dead.
The incident on Wednesday injured seven people and killed one. Officials have yet to specify the nature of the link between yesterday’s tragedy with the van that ran over crowds in Barcelona today.
“What we contemplate is that this is a terrorist attack with the intention of killing the largest number of people,” said Joseph Luis Trapero, chief of Catalan police, of Thursday’s attack.
The van assault is being connected with the explosion, described as “a second incident that occurred in the last hours” of the day in the coastal Catalonian village of Alcanar, Trapero explained.
Firefighters found at least 20 containers of butane gas in the house where the explosion occurred, and officials said squatters had been at the property. Some analysts have suggested the gas could have been used as supplies for an attack.
At least 100 people were injured in the van attack, and a Catalan government official disclosed that the death toll of 13 may yet rise. Two suspects being held in custody for questioning were not the drivers that mowed down civilians, a Spanish police official said. The driver remains at large.
Catalan police have confirmed that the driver of the van that killed 13 people in Barcelona Thursday afternoon is still at large. Police say the driver of the van escaped on foot and appeared to be unarmed. Meanwhile, police say two suspects taken into custody after the attack were not behind the wheel. One of the suspects was Moroccan while the other was from Melilla (Spanish enclave in Morroco).
False Flag suspicions appear
La Vanguardia gives a false-flag-looking twist to the story, reporting that one person identified himself as Driss Oukabir Soprano turned himself this afternoon to the police station of the Mossos d’Esquadra in the town of Ripoll (Girona), where he resides, and has reported the theft of his documentation. The police had already spread the image of this person as the alleged perpetrator of the terrorist attack occurred on Las Ramblas. Therefore, the published image would not correspond with the real author, as the mayor of the town, Jordi Munell, told La Vanguardia .
Nevertheless, this version contrasts with the one of the Police corp Mossos d’Esquadra that assures that Oukabir has been recognized and stopped by a patrol.
Following the mayor’s version, the Mossos try to clarify why he did not report the robbery in advance and it is suspected that his younger brother could have stolen the documentation and be allegedly involved in the attack. The brother is named Moussa Oukabir, lives in Barcelona and is 18 years old.
Authorities had identified him and distributed his photograph. Oukabir is Moroccan with French nationality, but resident in the Catalan locality of Ripoll.
At around 20.00 hours, Facebook has canceled his page , but previously, one could see that the last photo the man posted was from August 15, depicting him seated on a beach, under an umbrella, wearing headphones. Apparently, he was accompanied by another person, as there were two towels and two pairs of shoes in the photo.
After being identified by the Police, Oukabir’s Facebook page received numerous insults and threats while some users were surprised to see he was following the Facebook page for admissions to the National Police corp, Guardia Civil. That implies he might have been in the process of applying/recruitment to the Police corp, or at least he thought about it.
Catalan police officials have also confirmed that a man who ran over two police officers at a Barcelona checkpoint was shot dead by authorities.
Police have not said if the incident was connected to the terror attack.
So far, Catalan police have confirmed they have no evidence or intelligence suggesting that a follow-up attack is imminent, but earlier it was revealed that the CIA reportedly warned Catalonia of a potential van ramming attack two months ago.
But keep in mind that a referendum on Catalan independence was announced by the Government of Catalonia for 1 October 2017. Declaring a STATE OF EMERGENCY would bring to Barcelona/Catalonia more Spanish National Police and most definitely the Spanish Military, a presence that could ruin the plans for independence.