Terrorist Attack in Barcelona
A large white Fiat van rammed into a pedestrian filled boulevard killing 13 and injuring nearly 50 in Las Rambla a popular tourist area in Barcelona, Spain.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack and the police has confirmed that the driver is still on the run.
Josep Lluis Trapero of the regional police of Catalonia has confirmed that the police suspect is linked to two explosions that destroyed a house late Wednesday evening in Alcanar, south-east of Barcelona, that killed one person and wounded another.
Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont, says there have been two arrests, however they were not the driver who fled on foot. Driss Oukabir was named as the renter of the van and was an initial suspect, however, reports were released that his documents had been stolen before the attack and that he was not involved.
Terrorists have used vehicles to carry out deadly attacks in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK in the past year and most recently in in Charlottesville, Virginia killing 1 and injuring 19 people.
Such vehicle attacks generally require very little planning, and no wider network, leaving little or no opportunity for the authorities to detect and stop them.
The Catalan authorities have declared three days of mourning and a minute’s silence is to be held in Barcelona’s Plaça de Catalunya on Friday.
Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, especially in crowds or at large events, and monitor local news sources for updates.
Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
If you are a U.S citizen in Barcelona and you are safe, please let family and friends know, including by updating your status on social media.