The Latest: Spain suspects bought weapons after first attack
Aug. 23, 2017
MADRID (AP) — The Latest on news relating to the Spanish attacks (all times local):
Court documents show that members of a Spanish extremist cell bought knives and an ax between the first and second fatal attacks in the country's Catalonia region last week.
The detail came light as National Court Judge Fernando Andreu issued orders to jail two of the surviving suspects without bail and provisionally freed another. A fourth was ordered held in police custody for another 72 hours.
The documents say the cell had to improvise or carry out alternate plans of violence after the house where they were making bombs exploded on Wednesday night.
The judge says in the order released by the National Court late Tuesday: "The blast truncated the initial plan of the terrorists and precipitated the succession of subsequent events."
Those events including the remaining attackers renting vans, the attacks carried out by one of them in Barcelona, and the attack with knives in Cambrils.
A judge has ordered two of the four surviving suspects in last week's extremist attacks in Spain held without bail, another detained for 72 more hours and one freed.
National Court Judge Fernando Andreu issued his orders after hearing the four answer questions on Tuesday about the vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 15 people.
Andreu said there was enough evidence to hold 21-year-old Mohamed Houli Chemlal and 28-year-old Driss Oukabir on preliminary charges of causing homicides and injuries of terrorist nature and of belonging to a terrorism organization.
The judge also said in a document seen by The Associated Press that Houli Chemlal also was held for dealing with explosives.
Sahl El Karib, the owner of a cybercafé in Ripoll, the Pyrenees hometown to most of the members of the cell, will remain in custody under arrest for at least 72 more hours while police inquiries continue.
The judged ruled the evidence to keep holding suspect Mohamed Aalla was "not solid enough."
Police in Catalonia are searching a house and a cybercafe in two different northeastern Spanish towns in connection to the deadly attacks last week that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona.
Agents are searching a house Tuesday in Vilafranca del Penedes, a regional police spokeswoman said.
Vilafranca is the hometown of Pau Perez, who police said was stabbed to death during the main attacker's getaway in Barcelona. It's also 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of where that attacker, Younes Abouyaaqoub, was shot dead Monday by police.
In Ripoll, the hometown of most of the 12 alleged members of the extremist cell linked to the attacks, agents are searching a cybercafe run by suspect Sahal El Karib. In court testimony Tuesday in Madrid, El Karib denied being a member of the Islamic extremist cell.
A Spanish judicial official says two of the four surviving Barcelona suspects have identified an imam who was killed in an explosion as the ideologist of the extremist cell responsible for carrying out the attacks and planning others.
Only one of the four suspects acknowledged being part of the 12-member cell during proceedings at Spain's National Court on Tuesday.
The official says Mohamed Houli Chemlal told a judge that the cell was preparing to attack Barcelona monuments with explosives and the imam intended to blow himself up when they did.
The official is not authorized to speak about ongoing cases under court rules and requested anonymity.
National Court prosecutor Ana Noe is asking for the four to be sent to prison without bail on preliminary charges of being part of a terrorist organization, homicide, causing havoc and dealing with explosives.
A person who attended proceedings at Spain's National Court says attack suspect Driss Oukabir told the prosecutor he had rented the vans used in last week's attacks — but says he did that because he thought they were going to be used for a house move.
He is the second of four Barcelona attack suspects being quizzed Tuesday at the court in Madrid. His brother was one of the five radicals shot dead Friday by police after a vehicle attack on pedestrians in Cambrils.
The person at the hearing says Oukabir denied being part of the attackers' cell. The person says Oukabir said his first version of events — telling police that his documents were stolen by his brother — was something he said out of fear. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the hearing.
The prosecutor has asked for Oukabir to be jailed without bail before trial — along with the first suspect to testify, Mohamed Houli Chemlal.
— By Aritz Parra.
Spain's National Court in Madrid says Driss Oukabir, whose brother was one of the attackers shot dead in the resort of Cambrils last week, is testifying before a judge.
Oukabir was the second of four van attack suspects to testify Tuesday before Judge Fernando Andreu, who will decide later whether they should be jailed or released.
Oukabir was arrested after reporting that his documents had been stolen to police in the northeastern town of Ripoll, where he lived. Officials confirmed the documents were found in one of the vehicles used in the two attacks on pedestrians last week that killed 13 people in Barcelona and one in Cambrils. Another person was stabbed to death in Barcelona as an attacker made his getaway.
Mohamed Houli Chemlal, a 21 year-old, who survived an explosion last week that destroyed a house where officials say explosives were being prepared, testified earlier Tuesday.
A court official in Madrid says the prosecutor is recommending jail without bail for Mohamed Houli Chemlal, the first of four arrested suspects to be interrogated at Spain's National Court on the two deadly vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.
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.
Speaking anonymously in line with court rules, the court official said Chemlal answered questions, but gave no details of what the suspect said in court.
The two attacks last week left 15 dead and over 120 wounded.
Mohamed Houli Chemlal, a 21 year-old arrested after he survived an explosion at a house in eastern Spain last week, is the first of four arrested suspects to be interrogated at Spain's National Court on the two deadly vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.
A spokeswoman for prosecutors said Tuesday the four suspects would be interrogated in the presence of lawyers provided by the court throughout the day. Speaking anonymously in line with court rules, she said the testimony would be in Spanish without interpreters.
Suspect Driss Oukabir was arrested Thursday in the northeastern town of Ripoll, as were two others identified by Spanish media as Mohammed Aalla and Salh el Karib.
Chemlal's testimony is considered key to clarify the motivations of the 12-man cell that killed 15 people and wounded over 120 in the two vehicle attacks. He is the lone survivor of a blast that destroyed a house in Alcanar, where police believe the cell was preparing explosives.
— by Ciaran Giles.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has confirmed reports that an Audi used by the attackers in the Spanish town of Cambrils had been photographed in the Paris region for speeding some time before last week's attacks.
Collomb said in an interview on Tuesday on BFM-TV that the black Audi A3 was photographed by radar, but did not give a timeframe or location or clarify whether it was transiting through the area.
He said that "this group came to Paris but it was a quick arrival and departure."
The French daily Le Parisien reported on Monday that the car came through the Paris region about a week before Thursday and Friday's attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 15 people. Other papers said it was seen in the Essonne region south of the capital as well.
Collomb said French and Spanish services were in tight cooperation over the attacks, but the French "didn't know the cell which was exclusively Spanish." His Spanish counterpart is to pay a visit to Paris on Wednesday.
Four men arrested last week for their alleged involvement in the planning or execution of attacks in and near Barcelona that killed 15 people are testifying in Spain's National Court before a judge.
Spanish media have named the suspects as Driss Oukabir, Mohammed Aalla, Salh el Karib and Mohamed Houli Chemlal.
Three of them were arrested on Aug. 17 and 18 in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll. One was arrested in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where a house that was accidentally blown apart turned out to be a botched bomb-making workshop.
They arrived at the National Court in Madrid early Tuesday.
Younes Abouyaaqoub, who police said was in the van that killed 13 people in Barcelona's central boulevard on Thursday, was shot dead Monday.
This item has been corrected to show the suspect's surname is Chemlal, sted Chemal.