Barcelona terror attack: Suspect says 'much bigger attack' was planned

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A man accused of being involved in the terror attacks on Barcelona and Cambrils has admitted in court a bigger atrocity was planned.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal reportedly made the admission while being questioned in court.

The first of four suspects to testify, the 21-year-old was the only survivor of a blast that destroyed a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where police believe explosives were being prepared.

Officers found 120 gas cannisters after the house blew up last Wednesday, the night before the Las Ramblas van attack.

Driss Oukabir, one of four arrested in relation to the terrorist attacks in Catalonia (EPA)

Two men were killed, one of whom is believed to be the suspected ringleader of a 12-strong terror cell, imam Abdelbaki Es Satty.

Police believe the group wanted to fill three rental vans with explosives to carry out another atrocity on Spanish streets.

Salh el Karib was taken to the National Court in Madrid today (EPA)

They suggested that the accidental blast prompted the plotters to change the nature of the attack.

All the attack suspects who were part of the terror cell have either been killed or captured, police say.

Mohamed Aallaa, 27, is among the four facing terrorism, murder and weapons charges (EPA)

Three other suspects, Driss Oukabir, Mohammed Aalla and Salh el Karib, were arrested on Thursday in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll.

Spanish police release footage of terror suspect raids

Driss Oukabir was the second suspect to be questioned in court, claiming he had rented the van used in the Las Ramblas attack, but believed it was going to used for a house move.

The prosecution has asked for Chemlal and Oukabir to be jailed without bail as they await a trial.

The four — the only ones left alive from the group of suspects — were brought to the National Court in Madrid a day after the alleged driver of the van was shot dead by police.

The have been charged with terrorism, murder and weapons possession after 15 people were killed in the attacks on Thursday and the north-eastern resort town of Cambrils early on Friday.

Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, was shot dead in a vineyard outside Subirats, west of Barcelona.

Police identified him as the driver of the white Renault van that careered along packed Las Ramblas, leaving 13 dead and 120 injured from 34 countries.

He was wearing a fake suicide vest and carrying a bag of knives when he was spotted hiding among vines at 5pm yesterday.

When confronted, he is said to have stood and opened his vest to reveal the suicide belt, and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as officers opened fire. 

A total of 15 people were killed in the attacks, with the victims coming from 34 countries around the world, including British-born seven-year-old Julian Cadman. Coffins of some of the victims of the Barcelona massacre were seen arriving in Rome.

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