Two years on, Barcelona is mourning the victims of the terror attack that saw a van running over pedestrians in La Rambla, the city’s most iconic boulevard. In all, 16 people died following the attacks in the capital of Catalonia and in the seaside town of Cambrils, which took place just a few hours after the initial van attack.
The second anniversary of the attack comes amid increased controversy over the ties between the Spanish intelligence services and Abdelbaki Es Satty, who allegedly recruited a group of young men from the town of Ripoll acting as a local imam, and then became the leader of the jihadist cell that carried out the attacks. The Barcelona city council recently passed a motion in favor of demanding Spain’s Congress to set up a committee of inquiry into the terror attacks.
In recent weeks, the ‘Público’ newspaper published reports claiming that Es Satty was an informant for the secret services, who had been track along with other members of the terrorist cell up until right before the events. Such claims were later dismissed by further evidence published by ‘La Vanguardia’ newspaper.
The key protagonists of the management of security and the investigation following those attacks were the Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn and the head of the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police, Josep Lluís Trapero. The latter has been in prison since 2nd November 2017 accused of rebellion in relation to the Catalan independence referendum and Trapero is awaiting trial accused of not having prevented the referendum .