Spanish authorities have identified the man they believe used a rental van to mow down pedestrians walking down a historic street in the Las Ramblas district of Barcelona last week, killing and injuring more than 100 people.
Catalan police told reporters Monday the suspected driver is Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan national who escaped the scene on foot and later hijacked a getaway car. During his escape, Abouyaaquoub allegedly stabbed and killed the vehicle’s owner, pushing the death total in the attack to 15.
Police say Abouyaaquoub is the final member of a 12-person terror cell responsible for the Barcelona attack on Thursday and a related incident in the seaside town of Cambrils early Friday. Authorities believe he may have crossed the border into France, and Catalonian interior minister Joaquim Forn said he is being sought in “all European countries,” reports NBC News.
Los Mossos, the Catalan regional police force, released photos of Abouyaaquoub over social media early Monday, warning that he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Abouyaaquoub is the only suspected member of the cell that remains at large. Police shot dead five attackers who were wearing fake bomb belts in Cambrils and arrested four other suspects over the weekend.
Two other terrorists are believed to have died Wednesday in an explosion in a house in the town of Alcanar, about 100 miles southwest of Barcelona. Spanish authorities believe the accidental explosion occurred while the two men were preparing explosives for the Barcelona attack, likely preventing a much deadlier scene at Las Ramblas.
Among the 12 suspected terrorists in the Islamic State-linked cell are four sets of brothers, according to the New York Times. Younes Abouyaaquoub’s brother, 19-year-old Houssaine Abouyaaquoub, was killed by police in Cambrils.
Abouyaaqoub’s mother, Hannou Ghanimi, has begged him to turn himself in to authorities.
“He must go to the police,” she told reporters Sunday.
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