Spanish Police Are Hunting For A 22-Year-Old Moroccan Who They Believe Is The Driver Of The Van Used In The Barcelona Attack

Spanish police are hunting for a 22-year-old Moroccan who they believe is the driver of the van used in the Barcelona attack, according to reports.

Spanish Police Are Hunting For A 22-Year-Old Moroccan Who They Believe Is The Driver Of The Van Used In The Barcelona Attack

Younes Abouyaaqoub is said to be at the centre of the investigation into the massacre on Las Ramblas that left 13 dead and at nearly 130 injured.

Police in Catalonia said they were searching for the man, who is understood to be a key member of a jihadist cell, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Manhunt for the Barcelona van attack suspect, 22, still on the run

Younes Abauyaaqoub, alleged terrorist suspect wanted in connection with the 17 August terrorist attacks in the Catalonian cities of Barcelona and Cambrils (Picture: EPA)

On Friday it emerged that another suspect Moussa Oukabir, who is thought to have rented the van, was among five men shot dead as they launched a second attack in the coastal town of Cambrils.

The teenager, said to be 17 or 18 years old, is suspected of using his brother’s documents to hire the vehicle that ploughed through pedestrians on Thursday evening.

He reportedly died along with Said Aallaa, 19, and Mohamed Hychami, 24, who were part of a group that mounted a similar attack in Cambrils that left one woman dead and six people injured.

Manhunt for the Barcelona van attack suspect, 22, still on the run
Moussa Oukabir, alleged terrorist suspect wanted in connection with the 17 August terrorist attacks in the Catalonian cities of Barcelona and Cambrils (Picture: EPA)
Manhunt for the Barcelona van attack suspect, 22, still on the run
A policeman walks past dozen of gas bottles in Alcanar during a search linked to the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks on the site of an explosion on August 18, 2017 (Picture: Getty)

The identities of the other two dead jihadists are yet to be confirmed by police.

Four men, aged 21, 27, 28 and 34, who were arrested in connection with the attack remain in custody.

Three are Moroccan and one Spanish, and police said none of them was previously known to the security services for terror-related reasons.

Moussa Oukabir’s older brother, Driss Oukabir, is reported to be one of those detained.

Some 34 nationalities were among almost 130 people wounded in the attacks in Las Ramblas and in Cambrils, which lies around 70 miles to the south west.

Local authorities have identified six of the victims of the Barcelona attack as an Italian, one Portuguese, three Spanish and one Spanish-Argentine.

Manhunt for the Barcelona van attack suspect, 22, still on the run
Said Aallaa, alleged terrorist suspect wanted in connection with the 17 August terrorist attacks (Picture: EPA)
Manhunt for the Barcelona van attack suspect, 22, still on the run
Mohamed Hychami, alleged terrorist suspect wanted in connection with the 17 August terrorist attacks (Picture: EPA)

The victim of the second assault in Cambrils has been identified as a Spanish woman.

Authorities said 59 people injured in the attacks were still in hospital on Friday night, with 15 in a critical condition and 25 in a serious condition.

It comes after police revealed the terrorists behind the rampage were preparing bigger attacks, with a suspected gas explosion on Wednesday at a house in Alcanar believed to have robbed the killers of materials to use in larger-scale operations.

Reports from Spain had earlier suggested the terror cell may have been planning an attack using gas canisters.

Catalan regional police official Josep Lluis Trapero told reporters on Friday: ‘We think they were preparing at least one or more attacks in Barcelona.

‘The explosion in Alcanar at least avoided some of the material they were counting on to carry out even bigger attacks than the ones that happened.

Manhunt for the Barcelona van attack suspect, 22, still on the run
Catalan Mossos d’esquadra officers patrol at Las Ramblas street where a van crashed into pedestrians in Barcelona (Picture: Reuters)
‘Because of that the attack in Barcelona and the one in Cambrils were carried out in a bit more rudimentary way than the one they had initially planned.’

Police are also looking for a white Kangoo vehicle which is believed to have been rented by the suspects and could have crossed the border into France, according to French media.

The attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils took place around eight hours apart on Thursday afternoon and in the early hours of Friday.

In an echo of the London Bridge attack in June, Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont said the five terrorists in the Cambrils car were wearing fake suicide belts when they were stopped.

Police revealed that an axe and knives were also found in the vehicle, with one of the latter used to wound one person in the face before the terrorists were gunned down.

Credit Metro Uk

Source: http://metro.co.uk

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