All terror suspects identified as part of the 12-person extremist cell responsible for coordinating the deadly Spain attacks last week, including a former imam, are either dead or under arrest, authorities said.
The suspected driver behind the Barcelona terror attack was shot dead Monday, wrapping up a multi-day, international manhunt for Europe’s most-wanted man who’s believed to be the final member of the Spanish extremist cell behind last week’s incidents.
The imam, identified as Abdelbaki Es Satty, was accused of recruiting and radicalizing the other attackers, AFP reported.
Regional police chief Josep Luis Trapero said that of the 12-member terror group, four people are under arrest. The officer added that eight others are dead, including Younes Abouyaaquoub, the 22-year-old Moroccan-born man suspected of ramming a van into pedestrians at Las Ramblas promenade, one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Spanish police confirmed the “suspicious person” they confronted in Subirats, a town 28 miles west of Barcelona was Abouyaaquoub.
Five other members of the terror group were fatally shot by police in Cambrils after police suspected a possible second terror attack, and two others, including the imam, were killed in a house explosion in Alcanar the night before Thursday’s Barcelona attack.
Roser Venura, the daughter of a Catalan vineyard owner, told the Associated Press her father alerted police after they saw a car crossing their property at high speed even though the vineyard was closed off.
“We heard a helicopter flying around and many police cars coming toward the gas station [near the property],” Venura said.
Spanish police shot the man, who was allegedly wearing an explosive belt. A bomb disposal robot removed possible explosives and determined if the device was real. Terrorists shot dead last week were wearing fake bomb belts.
Authorities in Spain announced “everything indicates” Abouyaaquoub is the driver. The search for Abouyaaquoub had expanded to Catalonia and the neighboring French border by Monday morning, Reuters reported.
Abouyaaquoub is believed to be the only member of the 12-person terror cell who may have crossed the border into France. Authorities uncovered more evidence the cell was planning to carry out “one or more attacks with explosives” in the Spanish city before their house in Alcanar believed to be where the weapons were being made exploded a day before the Barcelona incident.
A police official confirmed to Fox News on Sunday three vans found in connection to last week’s attacks were rented using a credit card under Abouyaaquoubs name.
Hours after the Barcelona incident, five extremists rammed a car into pedestrians in the seaside town of Cambrils, killing a woman. The attackers were shot and killed by Spanish police. A man who was stabbed in his car by a terrorist brought the total to 15 people killed.
ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.