The terrorist cell behind the attacks in Spain was planning a series of devastating assaults, potentially including a large-scale truck bomb, investigators revealed yesterday.
Police were last night still hunting for one suspect, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, involved in the attacks, which left 13 dead in Barcelona and another person dead in the seaside resort of Cambrils after they were ploughed into by a van and car, respectively.
Five terrorists were also shot dead by police.
Plans for numerous attacks involving explosive gas canisters were only abandoned by the terrorists after the house in which they were being stored was accidentally blown up on Wednesday, police believe.
The revelation came as the suspected driver of the van who launched the assault in the Las Ramblas district of Barcelona was named as 17-year-old Moussa Oukabir. Authorities later revealed he had been one of the five men shot dead during the attack in Cambrils.
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. Two bodies were found in the house that exploded in Alcanar and four men have been arrested.
The identities of the victims of the attacks also started to emerge, including a Spanish father run down in front of his partner and young children and Jared Tucker, 43, from San Francisco.
The family of Julian Cadman, a seven-year-old British boy who remains missing, launched desperate appeals for information about his whereabouts.
The two attacks, launched eight hours apart, injured more than 130 victims from 34 countries. But investigators said the assaults were “rudimentary” compared to the original aspirations of a terror cell that had spent months plotting multiple massacres.
Josep Lluis Trapero, the head of Catalonia’s police force, said a group of extremists had been preparing multiple assaults for “some time” before their base was destroyed by a gas explosion that killed one person on Wednesday night.
Interior of house of suspected Barcelona van driver
Around 20 bottles of butane were discovered in the ruins of a house in Alcanar, which analysts said could have been loaded into a vehicle and blown up in a ramming attack.
A second van found in the town of Vic in Catalonia is also being investigated by police amid reports that the attackers had tried to hire a lorry, which was foiled when the driver failed to produce the necessary…