14 People Dead in Barcelona Van Attack – Driver at Large
Fourteen people died and at least 100 others were injured in a series of terrorist attacks that hit Spain this week.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has declared three days of official mourning for the “jihadist attack.” For those of us who are poltically incorrect, that means Radical Islamic terrorism.
Here’s what we know:
Attack #1 (ISIS has claimed responsibility)
A van drove through Barcelona’s crowded Las Ramblas district on Thursday. According to reports, 13 people were killed and dozens were hospitalized. At least 15 victims are in critical condition.
The attack occurred during the height of tourist season in Spain. The victims are from more than 30 countries, including one American dead and another injured.
This is the eighth vehicle attack in Europe since 2016. It is the deadliest terror attack in Spain since 2004.
Police are still looking for the driver, who fled the scene on foot.
The personal documents of French citizen Driss Oukabir were found in the van. Shortly after the attack, Oukabir turned himself in, explaining that his documents had been stolen.
Police believe the suspect to be Driss’s brother Moussa Oukabir, age 17.
Two years ago, someone using the name “Moussa Oukabir” wrote online that, if he were king, he would “kill all infidels and only spare Muslims who follow the religion.”
The Oukabir brothers are of Moroccan descent. “Moroccan networks were also connected to major terrorist attacks in France and Belgium in recent years,” reports The Washington Post.
Attack #2 (Stopped by police)
Another person died around 1:00 am Friday morning when an Audi drove into a crowd of people in the coastal town of Cambrils (about 60 miles southeast of Barcelona). At least 7 others were injured.
There were five men in the car. All five were shot to death by police before they could do any more damage. They were all carrying knives and wearing fake bomb belts.
One more person was killed and another 16 were injured on Wednesday when a house exploded in Alcanar (120 miles southeast of Barcelona).
The two vehicle attacks are believed to be connected, and authorities suspect plotters had been using the house in Alcanar as a factory to produce a truck bomb. If they had been successful, the carnage in Barcelona could have been even worse.
Spanish authorities believe the attacks are part of a “sophisticated and far-reaching plot that could have been much worse,” reports The New York Times.
Residents of Barcelona said they had long feared a terrorist attack would strike their bustling city.
“Usually I walk here feeling safe. Now I am afraid, really afraid,” said Estella Gil, a teacher’s assistant who came to Las Ramblas in support of victim’s families.
“This is a huge city, and somehow we were always expecting something like this, but of course you’re never prepared,” said Cristina Nadal, an aide for the Catalan government.
Author’s Note: Roughly 4% of Spain’s population is Muslim (about 2 million people). If Spain becomes polarized like Germany and France, its resources for fighting terrorism will likely become inadequate.