Car attacks in Spain

This article appears on page 16 of the October 2017 issue.

A man drove a van into a crowd on the Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona, Spain, on Aug. 17, killing 16 people and injuring more than 100. The driver fled the scene, carjacking a vehicle nearby and killing that vehicle’s driver in the process. 

That same day, a car was driven into a group of people in the city of Cambrils, 75 miles southwest, killing one and injuring six. In that attack, police killed five assailants who exited the car with knives and fake suicide vests.

The driver in the Barcelona attack was killed by police four days later in a vineyard outside of Barcelona. He also was wearing a fake suicide vest.

Police arrested five people on suspicion of assisting with the attacks and being part of a terrorist cell. One of those arrested admitted in court that the group had been planning to target more prominent locations, including the Sagrada Família cathedral, but had changed their plans after their bomb-making equipment accidentally detonated the day before the attacks, killing two people and destroying the house they were occupying.

The Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL) claimed the attackers as its soldiers, but police had not found any direct links to the group as of press time.