The suspected terrorist driver in the Barcelona van attack is thought to have used Europe’s open borders to leave Spain and go on the run.
Spanish police believe Younes Abouyaaqoub, the only fugitive still at large after the attack, has slipped across the border into France unnoticed.
The Moroccan national, 22, is suspected of mowing down pedestrians on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 and injuring 120.
Joaquim Forn, head of home affairs in Catalonia’s regional government, told a radio station “everything indicates” Mr. Abouyaaqoub was behind the wheel during the attack.
Police are also investigating claims he later killed a Spanish male while hijacking his car for use in the getaway, but they have not confirmed a link.
Pau Perez Villan, 35, was found dead from a stab wound in his white Ford Focus. The car had been driven through a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the city. Police fired ten times at the vehicle but the driver got away on foot.
The 12-member terror cell thought responsible for Thursday’s attack has now been broken up. A number were shot dead by police as they launched a second attack in the town of Cambrils, and two are thought to have died during an explosion at a suspected bomb factory in the town.
Las fotos revelan que el terrorista de la furgoneta de La Rambla huyó por la Boquería https://t.co/AbGmMXMwqK Imágenes exclusivas de EL PAÍS
— EL PAÍS (@el_pais) August 21, 2017
“With open borders in the EU the terrorist could by now be almost anywhere. Remember the Berlin killer was found in Italy”, commented former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Mr. Farage was referring to Anis Amri, a Tunisian failed asylum seeker who was inspired by Islamic State to attack a Christmas market in the German capital in December 2016. He fled to Italy, where he was shot dead by police.
Mr. Abouyaaqoub’s credit card was used to rent the vans that the Barcelona terrorists were planning to pack with explosives and use in the attacks.
Spanish newspaper El Pais has now published CCTV footage of the suspected terrorists withdrawing money in the days before the terror attacks.
Two other vans were discovered in Vic, about 44 miles north of Barcelona and in Ripoll, where most of the terrorist cell lived. Police also discovered a motorbike belonging to Abouyaaqoub in the town.