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“This is the venom we are going to give the enemies of Allah”

Footage made by jihadists who killed 16 people last year reveals that they were planning bigger massacre

Younes Abouyaaqoub and Youssef Aalla pose while holding explosives.
Younes Abouyaaqoub and Youssef Aalla pose while holding explosives.
Madrid / Barcelona

New footage has emerged of the terrorists who perpetrated attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on August 17 and 18 of last year, killing 16 people and injuring over 100 more. Material seized at the time by the Catalan police inside a house in Alcanar (Tarragona) included 19 hand grenades, a vest full of explosives, over 104 butane gas canisters, shrapnel, and a digital camera containing audiovisual material.

In one image taken by the group, a cell member named Youssef Aalla is seen posing for the camera and wearing the vest. Videos also show the jihadists mocking their potential victims: “Suffer, enemies of Allah!” says one. “Every gram of this iron is going to stick into your heads or those of your children and wives,” says another. “This is the venom that we are going to give the enemies of Allah, so they can savor it.”

Youssef Aalla posa was found dead at the house in Alcanar following an accidental explosion.
Youssef Aalla posa was found dead at the house in Alcanar following an accidental explosion.

During their investigation, the Mossos d’Esquadra produced a report detailing the contents of these and other videos made on August 13 and 14 by the jihadist cell. The camera was found in the rubble of the house, which blew up as the terrorists were handling the dangerous explosives. Two men died in the blast, including the group leader, a local imam named Abdelbaki Es Satty.

The videos, which are now being analyzed by the court in charge of the case, show smiling cell members preparing for what was meant to be a large-scale massacre. Their original goal had been to blow up several vehicles simultaneously in a densely populated spot, but the accidental explosion at the Alcanar house thwarted their plans.

Youssef Aalla and Younes Abouyaaqoub fitting a vest with explosives.
Youssef Aalla and Younes Abouyaaqoub fitting a vest with explosives.

Having lost their explosives, the surviving jihadists improvised a new attack and used a car to mow down pedestrians in La Rambla, one of Barcelona’s most popular thoroughfares. The following day the police shot down five terrorists in Cambrils who mounted a sidewalk with another vehicle in a bid to kill more people.

Cell members used the camera to record themselves as they prepared the explosives, which investigators believe they meant to use against a landmark building such as the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, the Camp Nou soccer stadium, a popular nightclub on the Catalan coast, or even the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s high court, located in Madrid and whose floor map the terrorists had consulted, according to investigators.

Gas canisters stored at the house in Alcanar.
Gas canisters stored at the house in Alcanar.

English version by Susana Urra.

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