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    Spanish Authorities Consider Ripoll Imam as Key Organizer of Catalonia Attacks

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    Terrorist Attacks in Catalonia (107)
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    Spanish authorities consider Abdel-Baki es-Sati, an imam from Ripoll, to be the main organizer of Thursday's terror attacks in Catalonia, local media reported Saturday.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — Spanish media reported earlier in the day that the house of es-Sati in Ripoll had been raided. Es-Sati is reportedly considered by the authorities as one of those killed in the blast of a house in the southern town of Alcanar earlier in the week where another attack with the use of explosives had allegedly been planned by the terrorists.

    El Pais newspaper reported that es-Sati, around 40, left his apartment in Ripoll in early June, just when the terrorists purportedly settled in the Alcanar house.

    Es-Sati's neighbors said that the suspect was a discreet person unwilling to attract attention. The man failed to integrate with the local Muslim community the members of which maintain close contacts with each other.

    The outlet noted that es-Sati got acquainted with the terrorists who had organized the 2004 attack in Madrid in prison from which the man was released in 2012. Es-Sati became the imam of the Ripoll mosque in 2015. The man also rented a room in his flat to another Moroccan. The suspect’s neighbor reportedly told police that es-Sati wanted to return to Morocco where his children were living.

    Es-Sati’s other neighbors reportedly said that the imam planned to move to Belgium.

    On Thursday, a van hit pedestrians in the center of Barcelona, killing over a dozen and injuring over 130 others. Hours after the incident, another vehicle attack took place in Catalonia's southern town of Cambrils. In the attack, a police officer and six civilians were injured and at least one of them died later. The responsibility for the van attack in Barcelona was reportedly claimed by Daesh terror group (IS, outlawed in Russia).

    A source in the Interior Affairs Council of the Catalan government told Sputnik earlier on Saturday that Spanish law enforcement were working on determining the location of three members of the terror cell behind Thursday's van attacks. Two of the suspects are believed to have died in the blast in Alcanar while the suspected driver of the van in the Barcelona attack had reportedly fled the scene on foot and is still on the run. Media suggested that Spanish police were searching for Moroccan national Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, considering him to be the perpetrator of the Barcelona van attack.

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    Terrorist Attacks in Catalonia (107)

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