Barcelona attack: Key suspect Moussa Oukabir confirmed dead

Moussa Oukabir
Moussa Oukabir, thought to be 17, was a Spanish citizen from the northern Catalan city of Girona. He is suspected of using his brother's documents to rent the van used in the Barcelona attack.

The key suspect in Thursday’s Barcelona attack, Moussa Oukabir, has been named as one of five men killed by police in the other attack site, Cambrils.

Police had earlier said they were searching for Oukabir and three other men. Now only one remains unaccounted for. Four suspects have been arrested.

Thirteen people were killed when a van, said to be rented by Oukabir, rammed crowds in Barcelona’s Ramblas district.

Police say the suspects had been planning more sophisticated attacks.

They said blasts on Wednesday in Alcanar, a town south of Barcelona, deprived plotters of bomb material so they carried out simpler attacks using vehicles.

Moussa Oukabir, thought to be 17, was a Spanish citizen from the northern Catalan city of Girona. Most of the other suspects were Moroccan.

He is suspected of using his brother’s documents to rent the van used in the Barcelona attack and another found hours later in the town of Vic, north of Barcelona, that was intended as a getaway vehicle.

Cambrils attack suspects
Only Younes Abouyaaqoub (far right) is still unaccounted for.

Later the same night police shot dead five attackers including Oukabir in the nearby town of Cambrils after they drove a car into pedestrians killing one woman and injuring six others.

The attackers’ vehicle overturned and when the men got out they were quickly fired upon by police. One was reportedly brandishing a knife.

Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero said one officer killed four of the attackers single-handedly.

The men were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts, police said, but these proved to be fake,

Police told media that Said Aallaa, 18, and Mohamed Hychami, 24, who they had earlier put on a wanted poster with Oukabir, were among the dead.

A fourth suspect, named as Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, is still unaccounted for.

Oukabir’s brother Driss was one of them. He reportedly turned himself in, telling police he was not involved and that his documents had been stolen.

Thursday’s attacked occurred when a Fiat van was driven down the pedestrianised Las Ramblas area on Thursday afternoon, killing 13 and injured scores more people.

Only three of the dead have been named so far:

  • Spaniard Francisco López Rodríguez, in his 60s
  • Italian Bruno Gulotta, 35
  • Italian Luca Russo, 25

One Belgian, one Canadian and one US citizen have also been confirmed dead.

Seven-year-old Julian Cadman, a dual British-Australian national who was separated from his mother during the attack, is missing, ABC Australia reports. His mother was reportedly among the seriously injured.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it had carried out the attacks, though it is not clear whether the attackers were directly connected to the group or simply inspired by it

Timeline of events

  • Alcanar, Wednesday evening: An explosion rips through a house in the small town, 200km south of Barcelona. One person dies. Police chief Josep Lluis Trapero said it appeared the residents at the house had been “preparing an explosive device”. A Catalan government official says a cell may have intended to use gas canisters in the Las Ramblas attack
  • Barcelona, Thursday 16:50 (14:50 GMT): A white Fiat van drives down Las Ramblas in central Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring scores. The driver flees on foot
  • Vic, Thursday 18:30: Police find a second van, thought to be a getaway vehicle, in the town, 80km north of Barcelona
  • Sant Just Desvern, Thursday 19:30: A car is driven into officers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Barcelona. A man is found dead in the car but the interior ministry denies earlier reports he was killed by police gunfire. The dead man is not believed to be linked to the Las Ramblas attack, officials say, but investigations are ongoing
  • Cambrils, Friday 01:00: A second vehicle attack takes place in the resort south of Barcelona. Police kill five terrorist suspects said to be linked to the Las Ramblas attack


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