Spain terrorists admit planning attack on greater scale

Suspected member of terror cell that carried out terrorist attacks in Spain admits the jihadists had planned to hit monuments.

Elad Benari ,

Aftermath of Barcelona attack
Aftermath of Barcelona attack

A suspected member of the terror cell that carried out the terrorist attacks in Spain last week admitted to a judge on Tuesday that the jihadists had planned to hit monuments in an even bigger attack, AFP reported.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal, 21, and three others were charged with terrorist offences over the rampages in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils that killed 15 people and wounded more than 100.

The four, who are the only surviving suspects from a 12-man cell whose members carried out the attacks, were charged with "belonging to a terrorist organization, terror-related murder and possession of explosives," said a judicial source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Chemlal, a Spaniard, told the judge that the cell was planning "an attack on an even greater scale, targeting monuments" using bombs, according to the source.

He had known of the plans for an attack "at least two months ago," he added, according to AFP.

Chemlal was injured in an accidental explosion at the group's makeshift bomb factory on Wednesday evening. One of those killed in the blast was an imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, who is thought to have radicalized him and other young suspects.

He had only survived because he was out on the porch when the blast occurred, the judicial source said.

While Chemlal told the judge the imam had wanted to blow himself up, two other suspects "blamed the imam for the plot while another two denied knowing him," the source added.

Last week, the head of police in Catalonia said the terrorists had planned a bigger attack but the accidental explosion in the house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, forced them to alter their plans.

While Catalan police say the cell has been dismantled, investigators are trying to determine if it had logistical or other forms of support from other individuals.