Iman behind Spain attacks had links to Madrid bomber

Alleged terrorist links

The alleged mastermind of the terror attacks in Spain had links to the one of the 2004 Madrid bombers.

Officials have raided the home of an iman in the town of Ripoll they believe may have been in charge of the cell that killed 14 people in two attacks in Barcelona and the seaside report of Cambrils.

While they believe that the men responsible for the attacks were not on the security services’ radar iman Abdelbaki es Satty is reported to have extremist connections.

According to Sky News Es Satty went to prison five years ago for trafficking hashish from Morocco to Spain, and was locked up alongside Rachid Aglif, who was jailed for his role in the Madrid attacks that killed 191 people and injured thousands on commuter trains in Spain’s worst terror attack.

In the raid over the weekend officers were reportedly seeking evidence including DNA that might link him to the building that was destroyed in Alcanar where they believe the attack was being prepared.

Es Satty’s name also reportedly turned up in Operation Jackal which saw five extremists convicted for recruiting young men around seaside towns near Barcelona.

Police say efforts to track down the fugitive terror suspects are being hampered by their inability to identify the human remains at the house where the explosion took place in Alcanar.

El Pais, a leading Spanish daily newspaper, said police are investigating whether the imam, who apparently left Ripoll around a month ago, might be one of three dead bodies discovered in the Alcanar house, the telegraph reported.

Sources close to the investigation told El Confidencial they believed Es Satty was a ‘spiritual or idealogical leader’ to the those involved in the cell, radicalising them and helping them to plan the attacks. 

Meanwhile, the driver of the van that killed 13 in Barcelona is still at large. Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn told Catalunya Radio that ‘everything indicates’ Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan and resident of the northern town of Ripoll, was the driver of the van and that he is the last member of the 12-man extremist cell still at large.

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