Spanish police searched on Sunday for the man behind the wheel in the Barcelona van attack that killed 13 people, amid growing signs members of the militant group had connections elsewhere in Europe. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.
The search continues for the man behind the wheel in the Barcelona van attack amid growing signs members of the militant group involved had connections elsewhere in Europe. 13 people were killed and 120 injured when a vehicle mowed down pedestrians on Las Ramblas on Thursday (August 17). Police won't confirm the identity of the driver but Spanish media have named him as 22-year-old Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaquob. Security operations were under way on Sunday (August 20) in Catalonia and on the French border with authorities not ruling out he may have crossed into France. Abouyaaquob is believed to have belonged to a cell of 12 who were responsible for the Barcelona attack and a second incident hours later, further down the coast in Cambrils, when five men wearing fake explosive belts were shot dead by police after ramming holidaymakers with a car and stabbing others. Killing one woman and injuring a handful more. Abouyaaqoub is the only suspect still at large. Others implicated in the attacks have been arrested, shot by police or killed in an explosion at a house in Catalonia the day before. The home was believed to be the group's base and more than 100 butane gas cylinders were found amongst its remains. Leading authorities to believe the cell had planned to carry out one or more large-scale bombings in Barcelona. Evidence emerged on Sunday that alleged members of the Catalan cell had travelled to other European countries. Belgium, Switzerland and France all investigating possible links. Family members have said Abouyaaqoub turned more conservative within the past year but are shocked at his alleged involvement alongside his brother and two cousins. Abouyaaqoub's mother has urged her son to turn himself into authorities. Saying she would rather he was in jail, than killed.