Barcelona attack: Bigger attack planned, says suspect

Barcelona attack: Bigger attack planned, says suspect”

Mohamed Houli Chemlal injured in the explosion of the house Alcanar where the cell would have prepared the attacks, is a suspect, the key to the investigators: it is the only life of which we know with certainty that he had stayed in this house, and who can tell what the suspects were doing there.

Only one of the four suspects acknowledged being part of the 12-member cell during proceedings at Spain's National Court on Tuesday.

A National Court spokesman said Chemlal testified Tuesday at the court for just over an hour before Judge Fernando Andreu, who will decide later whether the four should be jailed or released.

Five other suspects, Moussa Oukabir, 17, Said Aalla, 18, Houssaine Abouyaaqoub, 19, Omar Hychami, 21, Mohamed Hychami, 24, were shot in Cambrils after they carried out a second vehicular attack on the same day as the Barcelona outrage.

The person attending the hearing said Oukabir told the prosecutor his first version of events - telling police that his documents were stolen by his brother - was something he had done out of fear.

Police had previously revealed that the suspected jihadists had been preparing bombs for "one or more attacks in Barcelona".

Chemlal, arrested after an explosion at a bomb factory south of Barcelona, was covered in bandages and appeared to be wearing hospital pyjamas to today's court appearance, the Daily Mail reports.

He was accused by two unnamed suspects of organising the plot and wanted to blow himself up in the attack, Mr Chemlal said, according a court official.

The others were Mohamed Aallaa, one of three brothers allegedly involved, and Salh El Karib, who manages a store that allows people to make calls overseas. He was the lone survivor of a blast that destroyed a house in Alcanar, where police believe the cell was preparing explosives. Speaking anonymously in line with court rules, she said the testimony would be in Spanish without interpreters.

And in France, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told BFMTV that the Audi used to mow down people in Cambrils had been detected by speed cameras in the Paris region while making "a very rapid return trip" days before the Spanish attacks.

He said that "this group came to Paris but it was a quick arrival and departure".

Also under arrest is Mohammed Allaa whose vehicle was used to ram pedestrians in the Cambrils attack.

Collomb is due to host Spanish counterpart Juan Ignacio Zoido on Wednesday for talks due to include anti-terrorism cooperation.

Oukabir, Aalla and el Karib were arrested Thursday in the northeastern town of Ripoll and Houli Chemlal in Alcanar for their alleged involvement in planning or carrying out two vehicle attacks on pedestrians - one Thursday in Barcelona that left 13 dead and another in the nearby town of Cambrils early Friday that killed one person.

Three of them were arrested on August 17 and 18 in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll.

Monday, the fugitive Younes Abouyaaqoub who was a 22-year old Moroccan, who is suspected to have driven the van, was shot dead by police in a vineyard in a northern suberb of Barcelona, wearing a fake bomb vest after shouting "Allha Akbar" (God is Greatest), he was armed with knives.

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