MADRID (AP) – A man was arrested Friday for alleged links to the extremist cell in last month’s attacks in Barcelona and a nearby town that killed 16 people, Spain’s Interior Ministry said.
The 24-year-old suspect of Moroccan origin purchased materials for explosives in his name and he provided vehicles to transport them, the ministry said. The man’s name hasn’t been released.
The ministry said the suspect had a close relationship with Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam that investigators see as the key figure in the recruitment of other cell members and the planning of the deadly attacks.
The latest suspect was arrested in the coastal town of Vinaros, 10 kilometers (six miles) south of Alcanar, where Es Satty died with another alleged cell member when a bomb workshop exploded.
Six others attackers were shot dead by police and five people so far have been arrested in connection with the attacks. Three, including the latest suspect, are in custody and two others have been freed but remain under investigation.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the van attack in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district and the vehicle and knife attack in the coastal town of Cambrils on Aug. 17-18.
Authorities say 201 suspected jihadi activists have been arrested since Spain raised its national security alert to one step below the maximum in mid-2015.