Barcelona attacks: Imam was allowed to stay in Spain after prison release

Barcelona attacks: Imam was allowed to stay in Spain after prison release

Houli Chemlal, wearing hospital pajamas and a bandage on his arm in court Tuesday, is being treated for his injuries in the blast at the Alcanar house, which, police said, had been turned into a bomb factory.

In the same incident, group's spiritual leader Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty from Ripoll.

The official says Mohamed Houli Chemlal told a judge that the cell was preparing to attack Barcelona monuments with explosives and the imam meant to blow himself up when they did.

They are the only survivors of a 12-man cell whose members rammed a van into pedestrians on a tourist-packed boulevard in Barcelona on Thursday and hours later carried out a similar attack in the seaside resort of Cambrils further south.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors said Tuesday the four suspects would be interrogated in the presence of lawyers provided by the court throughout the day.

The terrorists' broader plans are believed to have failed after a stockpile of gas canisters, to be used in an attack, blew up their safe house in Alcanar.

Spanish media have named the suspects as Driss Oukabir, Mohammed Aalla, Salh el Karib and Mohamed Houli Chemal but their identities have not yet been confirmed by police.

The 21-year-old man from the Spanish exclave Melilla in North Africa was attempting to manufacture a bomb when his device accidentally detonated last week, destroying a warehouse, prosecutors alleged. She said the testimony would be in Spanish without interpreters.

They include Driss Oukabir, whose passport was found in the abandoned van after the Barcelona attack. One police officer shot dead four of the terrorists who ploughed their auto into pedestrians in Cambrils, killing one woman and injuring dozens.

Meanwhile, the French interior minister has confirmed reports that the Audi used by the terrorists in the attack in Cambrils had been caught speeding on camera in Paris.

The French daily Le Parisien reported on Monday that the vehicle came through the Paris region about a week before Thursday and Friday's attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 15 people. Spanish media say the other 11 suspects are mostly Moroccans who lived in Spain.

Salah el Karib was also there after being accused of running an internet cafe in Ripoll that was used to send money to Morocco.

A total of 15 people were killed and 120 others wounded in last week's terror attacks.

The other three men who were appearing in court were arrested in Ripoll, 145 miles north of Alcanar, which was home to the six members of the terrorist cell who were shot by police.

The other suspects are Omar Hychami and Houssaine Ayouaaguoub "who is presumed to be a family member of Younes Aouyaaquoub, the suspected driver of the Ramblas van who remains on the run", added the Telegraph.



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