Sadness, confusion and anger in town home to Barcelona attack suspect

World Today

Spanish police are raiding homes in a small Pyrenees town, searching for the young man suspected of killing 13 people in an attack in Barcelona.

CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports.

Flanked by family and friends, the mother of Barcelona terrorist attack suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub grieves in Ripoll’s main square.

It’s a tight-knit and well-integrated community, now filled with sadness and confusion.

“These kids were from good families. They weren’t drunk kids, they don’t do that sort of stuff,” according to one resident. “They worked hard, but someone bigger them has come and eaten these children. They couldn’t have done this on their own.”

Maria Alba Martinez worked alongside 18- year- old suspect Said Aallaa at the Canaulas cafe. When she heard he’d been killed in a shootout with police, she was devastated.

“They were very good lads, very responsible workers, very good work mates,” Martinez said. “He was an intelligent guy, he wanted to study robotics at university. He was a really good football player and very well loved, very helpful. We don’t understand what happened.”

But in addition to sadness, anger is also present. As police led three people away on Saturday, residents gathered to jeer at them.

Police are moving in on the terrorist cell, which is thought to have included nearly a dozen people. As the manhunt continues, this town in the remote foothills of the Pyrenees has become a focal point of the search.

Authorities raided the flat of a local imam who residents say disappeared a month ago. Police are reportedly trying to confirm his body as the one found in the wreckage of the alleged bomb factory in Alcanar.