Spanish judge releases one Barcelona attack suspect while Morocco arrests two
A Spanish judge Tuesday released one suspect in the terror attacks that claimed 15 lives and wounded more than 100 people last week, saying evidence against him was weak, but remanded two others AFP reported.
Meanwhile Moroccan authorities arrested two people suspected of links to the alleged perpetrators of the Barcelona van attack, state TV channel 2M reported on Tuesday.
National Court Judge Fernando Abreu ordered that Mohamed Houli Chemlal, a 21-year-old Spaniard, and Driss Oukabir, a 27-year-old Moroccan, be held while the investigation continued after questioning them for several hours.
Chemlal is suspected of preparing explosive devices at a house south of Barcelona while Oukabir is suspected of renting a white van that ploughed into crowds in Barcelona on Thursday, killing 13 people.
But the judge ordered the conditional release of Mohamed Aalla, the owner of the Audi that was used in a second vehicle attack in the seaside town of Cambrils in the early hours of Friday that killed one person.
The judge wrote in his ruling that there was not at this point “evidence to establish his participation in the events, aside from being the formal owner” of the vehicle which was in fact being used by his younger brother.
Aalla will have to report regularly to police and is prohibited from leaving Spain.
He is still under formal investigation but has not been formally charged unlike Chemlal and Oukabir who have been charged with terror related offences.
The judge will investigate further the fourth suspect arrested over the attacks, Salh El Karib, before deciding if he will be released or remanded in custody, the source added. The judge will decide the fate of this suspect within three days.
In Morocco a 28-year-old man was detained in Nador, close to the Spanish enclave of Melilla according to Reuters.
The suspect, Moroccan TV stationl 2M reported, lived for 12 years in Barcelona and is alleged to have links to ISIS and of plotting to attack the Spanish embassy in Rabat. It gave no details of the alleged plot.
No direct link has been identified between the suspect and the cell of mainly young Moroccans behind the Barcelona attack, but he had celebrated the attack on Facebook, the report said.
The second suspect was arrested in the town of Oujda, close to Morocco’s border with Algeria, according to 2M. He was a resident of Ripoll, the small town in northeastern Spain where many members of the cell were living.
Both suspects were arrested on Sunday. Moroccan officials did not respond to requests for comment.