Spain, Police, Special Operations and Safety Group (Grupo de Operaciones Especiales y Seguridad, GOES), counter-terrorism (Contando Estrales, 2012)

Islamic State Terror Attacks Across Spain

5 Terror Suspects Shot Dead in Cambrils

Police early Friday shot and killed five suspected terrorists in Cambrils, a Spanish resort city south of Barcelona, where a terrorist drove a van into pedestrians, killing 13 and injuring 100.

Four of the suspects were killed at the scene of the operation police said was a response to a terrorist attack. Officials said six civilians were also injured.

Police in Spain’s Catalonia region, of which Barcelona is the capital, are working on the theory that the Cambrils and Barcelona attacks are connected.

In Cambrils, media reports said a car crashed into a police vehicle and nearby civilians and police shot the attackers, one brandishing a knife. Police did not immediately describe how the attack was carried out.

Catalan Interior Minister Joaquin Forn told local radio RAC1 early Friday that the Cambrils attack “follows the same trail” as the Barcelona attack. “There is a connection.”

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Barcelona Terror Attack

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack. Catalan police say two people are in custody — one from Morocco and the other from the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which shares a border with Morocco on the northern coast of Africa.

But the van driver is still at large, Forn confirmed, and it’s unclear exactly how the two in custody are connected with the attack.

House Explosion in Alcanar Linked to Terrorism

Police also said Thursday’s van attack is tied to an explosion in a house in Alcanar, also in Catalonia, Wednesday that killed one person. Authorities believe those in the house were building an explosive device that went off, leading to speculation that a larger terror plot may have been in the works.

Policemen Run Down at Barcelona Checkpoint

Also Thursday, a car ran down two policemen at a Barcelona checkpoint, but it is unclear if there is any connection to the earlier attack.

They said the van was traveling at high speed and swerved from side to side, leaving a trail of blood and bodies with twisted, broken legs.

Some witness said two armed men jumped out and disappeared into a restaurant.

Police arrived almost instantly and immediately shut down the area.

Catalan police say the driver was trying to kill as many people as possible.

Police also said that two men were arrested in connection with the attack; another was reported killed in a shootout with police.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau tried to paper over the incident with the usual counter-terrorism narrative:

Barcelona has always been and still is a city of peace, a city of dialogue, a brave city, a city open to the world, a city that’s proud of its diversity. … To the cowards who tried to spread terror, hatred and fear today: you won’t get it.

Jihadist Terrorism

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the van attack “jihadist terrorism.” Speaking to reporters, he said:

Today, the fight against terrorism is the principal priority for free and open societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global.

International Condemnation

U.S. President Donald Trump immediately responded using Twitter:

The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough and strong. We love you.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned, “Terrorists around the world should know, the United States and our allies are resolved to find you and bring you to justice.”

A spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and sent condolences to the victims, saying the U.N. stands in solidarity with Spain.

European leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, also condemned the attack.

Source: VOA.

Image: Spain, Police, Special Operations and Safety Group (Grupo de Operaciones Especiales y Seguridad, GOES), counter-terrorism (Contando Estrales, 2012).

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