Spanish Police: Extremists Planned Massive Explosion
The manhunt is still on for one man believed responsible for the attacks in Spain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2017 10:30 AM CDT
Families of young men believed responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils gather along with members of the local Muslim community to denounce terrorism and show their grief in Ripoll, north...   (Francisco Seco)
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(Newser) – Police put up scores of roadblocks across northeast Spain on Sunday in hopes of capturing a fugitive suspect from the 12-member Islamic extremist cell that staged two vehicle attacks and plotted much deadlier carnage using explosives favored by Islamic State militants, the AP reports. Complicating the manhunt, though, was the fact that police have so far been unable to officially identify who exactly is at large. While police have identified the 12 members of the cell, three people remain unaccounted for: two believed killed when the house where the plot was being hatched exploded Wednesday, and a suspected fugitive, Catalan police official Josep Lluis Trapero told reporters Sunday.

Trapero declined to confirm that Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan, was the one at large and the suspected driver of the van that plowed down Barcelona's Las Ramblas promenade Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring 120. Another attack hours later killed one person and injured others in seaside town of Cambrils. Another police official did confirm that three vans tied to the investigation were rented with Abouyaaquoub's credit card. Police believe the cell members had planned to fill the vans with explosives and create a massive attack in the Catalan capital. Trapero confirmed that more than 100 tanks of butane gas were found at the Alcanar house that exploded, as well as ingredients of the explosive TATP, which was used by the Islamic State group in attacks in Paris and Brussels.

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