10 major failings in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in la Rambler, Barcelona. Spanish and Catalan police officers, politicians and experts in terrorism begin to analyse the mistakes made.
The Spanish and Catalan authorities say that the police response to the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils were broadly speaking, correct, although not completely flawless.
However, events, since the terrorist attack on la Rambler, Barcelona, have highlighted a lack of cooperation between the anti-terrorist authorities of Spain and Catalonia and begs the question, does the political discontent between Catalonia and Spain affect the performance of various agencies involved?
The authorities concerned must now examine very carefully how they can improve their cooperation and performance ensuring the safety of their citizens and tourists. It is crucial that they now learn from their mistakes. We have listed what we consider to be some of the major failings below for your analysis consideration.
The analysis suggests that Abdelbaki is Satty was the brains and instigator of all the recent attacks in Catalonia. Police have monitored 59 radical Muslim Clerics, but Ripoll’s was not one of them. In fact, the authorities had no prior knowledge of what was happening in that mosque. Also, Spain lacks a list of Muslim Clerics and their associates, they are contracted without any official supervision and without checking by the authorities of their origin and training.
Six months of preparation completely undetected
The 12 members of the cell planned and prepared the attacks over many months. Mossos, the Guardia Civil, and the CNI, all failed to detect any of their activities. They completed countless journeys between Ripoll, their place of residence, and Riudecanyes and Alcanar, the two localities of Tarragona where they had occupied individual houses to prepare the attacks.
The Muslim terrorist group acquired and collected, more than a hundred butane bottles and up to 500 liters of the explosive acetone peroxide (TATP), without ringing any alarm bells with any of the authorities in Catalan or Spain. They also made many journeys abroad. At the present time, the authorities have only accounted for trips to Belgium, but have no idea which other countries they visited or which extremists they may have met.
The bomb factory in Alcanar
The explosion in Alcanar which completely destroyed a house and damage other surrounding property failed to raise any alarm bells. Mossos, (Catalan police) management of the scene at Alcanar was incompetent, to say the least. Trade Unions of the Civil Guard and National Police have reported that they were “excluded” from the scene of the incident. Apparently, members of the Guardia Civil de Sant Carles de la Rápita went to the scene, but Mossos refused to give them access.
The authorities failed to identify the bomb factory
Experts of the Catalan police analyzed the site alone and despite the remains of over 100 butane cylinders declared the explosion as a “gas accumulation accident,” which was later mistakenly linked to an illegal drug laboratory. There was an injured person. It was Mohamed Houli Chemlal, of Ripoll, who was transferred to the hospital Verge de la Cinta de Tortosa, where he was neither interrogated nor detained!
Rental of vans and purchase of knives and axes
Since the bombing in Nice in July 2016, security forces around the world are working with the hypothesis of new attacks on pedestrian areas with kamikaze vehicles. Especially with trucks and vans. Apparently, the cell of Ripoll at first tried to get a large truck of many tonnes but failed. However, they succeeded in renting several smaller ones, all with legal documentation. No one suspected anything.
Shopping for murder
The shop in Cambriels did not suspect or report anything after selling the jihadist’s four knives and an ax, just hours after their jihadist attack on Ramblas Barcelona and after a full terrorist alert, had been raised right across the Iberian Peninsula.
Placing bollards in pedestrian and touristic areas
Despite recommendations from the Ministry of Interior. The authorities in Barcelona had not placed any concrete Ballard’s or planters in the Ramblas! This is in the light of knowledge that schemes to limit or prevent vehicle attacks on pedestrian have been installed in vulnerable cities right across Europe. The administration and the various authorities are now blaming each other for this unfortunate oversight.
Failed ‘Operation Cage’
Operation Cage was a plan designed by the authorities in Barcelona to close off the city in the event of a major emergency or terrorist attack, enabling the perpetrators to be detained by the police. Unfortunately, Operation Cage was a complete failure, Younes Abouyaaqoub managed to flee. First on foot, and then in a stolen car, despite the significant police presence in the area before and after the attack. The authorities took many hours to task more than 800 police officers.
Delayed dissemination of photographs
The authorities had images of Younes, days before the attack took place, but, they took over two hours to release them to the public seeking their help to track down the terrorists. Younes was located and shot on the Monday following the attack.