Catalonia Police hunt Younes Abouyaaqoub

Police in Catalonia are still looking for a 22-year-old Moroccan suspect in the Barcelona attacks, who may have fled north into France.

The suspect, Younes Abouyaaqoub, is the only person unaccounted for in the case of an extremist cell of 12 people identified by Spanish police, force spokesman Albert Oliva told a local radio station on Sunday. Oliva added that the identification process of the 14 victims in Barcelona is progressing, but will require more time for DNA testing and necessary formalities. He said the families of some of the individuals killed have been notified.

Catalan police have put up scores of roadblocks across the province in a manhunt for Abouyaaquoub, but the suspect has so far eluded law enforcement. The investigation is also focusing on imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, who is suspected of radicalizing the group behind the Barcelona attack. He is believed to have died in an explosion in a house in the town of Alcanar.Oliva refrained from confirming the number of people killed in the blast, saying it could be “one, two or three.” 

Catalonia Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero later on Sunday confirmed that the remains of two people were indentified in the Alcanar house. The official also said that only one person was inside the van used to attack pedestrians in Barcelona, but it was not necessarily Abouyaaquoub, whose credit card was used to rent the vehicle.

Abouyaaquoub, Trapero added, may have eluded the manhunt in Spain and crossed into France.

On Thursday, a man plowed a van into a crowd of people in a popular tourist street in Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100. Hours later, terrorists launched a second attack in the seaside town of Cambrils, injuring seven people, one of whom later died

Catalonian terrorist cell, responsible for the twin attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, originally planned to carry out a major bombing campaign with explosive-laden vans. Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral masterpiece was reportedly their main target.

Wednesday’s apparent accidental explosion at their Alcanar hideout forced the terrorists to adjust their sinister plans. The group of jihadists plotted to construct a number of bombs to blow up at least three targets in Barcelona, the Spanish online portal El Espanol reported Saturday.

Police are suspecting an imam from the town of Ripoli, north of Barcelona, of the “brains” behind Thursday’s terror attacks and has started an investigation of him, local media reported Sunday.

45-year-old Abdelbaki es Satti, who is described by the El Mundo newspaper as “solitary, reserved and almost hermit like,” is responsible for radicalizing the members of the terrorist cell, which carried out the attacks, leaving 14 people dead and more than 120 injured in Barcelona and Cambrils.

He was found left when Catalan regional police searched his flat in the wake of Thursday’s attacks. It is unknown whether Satti is still at large or killed in an explosion late Wednesday, which destroyed a house in the town of Alcaner, south of Barcelona.

. Media agencies

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