Younes Abouyaaqoub: What we know about Barcelona terror suspect so far

Barcelona: What we know so far about suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub

Police are searching for Younes Abouyaaqoub

Monday, August 21, 2017

Younes Abouyaaqoub has been named as the main suspect behind the terror attack which ripped into Barcelona's most popular tourist district last week.

Abouyaaqoub, 22, is thought to have driven the van which ploughed into Las Ramblas on Thursday (August 17), killing at least 13 people.

CCTV images have now been released of a man thought to be Abouyaaqoub leaving the scene through the nearby Boqueria market on foot.

Police confirmed on Friday that he is still at large and it is now thought that he may have travelled to France in an attempt to escape the police. Authorities say they are working with governments across Europe to search for the suspect “in all European countries."

French media has reported that a white Kangoo van is being searched for as it is thought Abouyaaqoub could have travelled to France in it.

The suspect was born in Morocco but had been living in Ripoll, north of Barcelona. Three other people have also been arrested in the Pyrenean town.

Abouyaaqoub was allegedly part of a 12-strong terror cell and Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Ziodo has said five were shot dead at a second attack in Cambrils which killed one woman and injured six others.

Authorities in Spain have said that there are no police records on Abouyaaqoub in relation to terrorism and security services also did not have him on their radar.

His mother Ghanno Gaanimi has now also called on Abouyaaqoub to give himself up to police. She said: "He must go to the police, he must hand himself in. He is better off in prison than being dead.

"It’s wrong to kill people. I am not to blame for this."

Abouyaaqoub's cousin has also spoken out and said: "We had no idea this was about to happen. They’re such normal kids. They had such a normal life. Islam is a religion of peace and love. Islam does not tell us to kill."

His cousin also believes that those involved in the terror attack had been convinced to do it by someone else, by saying: "We think they were brainwashed by somebody older.

"They were a proper group. They didn’t smoke or drink. They had cards. They were well dressed. They had money because they all work. The younger ones study."

Among the individuals now under investigation by police is Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, who is suspected of being the ringleader of last week's attacks and may have been the person who 'brainwashed' Abouyaaqoub.