Barcelona Attack: Police Name Driver of Van
Albanian Daily News
Published August 21, 2017
The man suspected of killing 13 people and injuring over 120 others when he plowed his van into crowds of people in Barcelona on Thursday has been identified by Catalan authorities as Younes Abouyaaqoub.
Abouyaaqoub, who remains at large, was the only driver of the van, according to Catalan Interior Minister Joaquim Form.
Police have been hunting for Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan national, since the attack but had not confirmed him as the driver of the van that hit crowds of people on Las Ramblas in Barcelona in the early evening on Thursday.
Police told a news conference Monday that Abouyaaqoub fled the scene of the attack on foot and hijacked a car to escape.
Police fired on the car after it rammed through a checkpoint Thursday night but Abouyaaqoub was able to flee a second time. The car's owner, named as Pau Perez, was found stabbed to death in the vehicle. He becomes the 15th victim of the attack.
Spain's Ministry of Interior tweeted a CCTV photo of Abouyaaqoub Monday, asking for it to be shared on social media.
Speaking to local radio Monday, Form said all the evidence pointed to Abouyaaqoub being the driver and that security services were working with other agencies around Europe to find him.
Police carried out more raids overnight at homes in the town of Ripoll, where many of the suspects in the attack lived, Forn said, according to Reuters.
On Sunday, Catalonia Police Chief Josep Luis Trapero told reporters that he could not confirm whether Abouyaaqoub had already crossed the French border.
"If we knew that he was in Spain and where, we would go after him," Trapero said Sunday. "We don't know where he is."
Abouyaaqoub is one of 12 terror suspects linked to the Barcelona attack who did not have previous records or intelligence files related to terrorism, according to Trapero.
On Saturday, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoida said that the terror cell believed to be responsible for the attack on Las Ramblas and Cambrils, which left one dead and six injured, had been "completely dismantled."
Three of the five suspects killed by police in Cambrils were identified by a Catalan police spokesman as Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa and Mohamed Hychami.
Eight of the 12 lived in Ripoll, a city north of Barcelona. Three were arrested, and one was Oukabir -- one of the dead suspects. Another arrest was made in the village of Alcanar.