by WorldTribune Staff, August 20, 2017
A Muslim cleric who left his post in the Spanish town of Ripoll in June is suspected of radicalizing the terrorists who carried out the Barcelona attack, authorities in Spain said.
Authorities said they searched the home of the imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, on Aug. 19 as part of their investigation into the attack.
Es Satty, who is from Morocco, may have been killed in Alcanar, where the terrorist cell was building bombs in a house they used as a base, Spanish broadcaster RTVE reported.
A police official told the Associated Press that investigators believe Es Satty radicalized the suspected attackers, all of whom came from Ripoll.
Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said 11 of the 12 people comprising the terror cell were either dead or in custody.
Authorities continue to search for a 22-year-old Moroccan man believed to be the driver in the deadly attack in Barcelona. French police have also been alerted that Younes Abouyaaqoub may have crossed the border driving a rented white Renault Kangoo.
Spanish police say the terror cell had collected 120 gas canisters and was planning to use them in vehicle attacks. The canisters were found in the wreckage of the Alcanar house.
In addition to the 13 killed in Barcelona on Aug. 17, a woman died in a second vehicle attack early on Aug. 18 in the town of Cambrils. Five suspected jihadists were shot dead by police in the second attack.