Wednesday night, Alcanar
“An explosion at a house in the small town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, and the southernmost point of Catalonia, kills one person and wounds 16.
Police say the blast is the result of an accumulation of gas, but do not release further details. Most injuries occur after firefighters and police officers are caught by a second blast while investigating the initial explosion.
Senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero later says the blast was related to the van attack in Barcelona the following day, and that those in the house were attempting to “prepare an explosive device”.”
QC No evidence that this event was related to the Barcelona attack on the following day
Thursday, 5pm, Barcelona
“A white Fiat van veers off the road and into a crowd outside the Plaça de Catalunya metro station.
The driver continues down the pedestrian boulevard of Las Ramblas, a popular tourist destination, for more than 500 metres before stopping and fleeing on foot.
The smashed van is left at the foot of a mosaic by artist Joan Míro.
The attack kills 13 people and leaves about 100 injured.”
“In the town of Vic, 50 miles north of Barcelona, police find a second van, presumed to be a getaway vehicle.
Police say the van was hired at the same time as the Fiat used in the attack.
The perpetrator of the Barcelona attack remains at large.
7pm, ‘terrorist protocol’
“Catalan police confirm they are dealing with a terrorist attack. On Twitter they say they have “activated the terrorist attack protocol” for the region.”
QC. What evidence do they have that this is a terrorist attack?
7.30pm, Sant Just Desvern
A man is killed when he attempts to drive through a police roadblock in the town of Sant Just Desvern, on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Initial reports say he died from police gunfire after running over two officers, leaving one with a broken leg. An official at the time ruled out a connection to the attack on Las Ramblas.
On Friday morning, the Catalan interior minister, Joaquim Forn, contradicts earlier reports, saying the man died of knife wounds not inflicted by police.
He says a connection to the other attacks can no longer be ruled out.
QC What evidence
8pm, suspect arrested
Police confirm one suspect, Driss Oukabir, has been arrested after turning himself in.
The 28-year old Moroccan-born Spanish resident is identified from documents left at the scene. But Oukabir says his passport and ID were stolen, and that he played no part in the attack.
Oukabir is arrested in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll, 70 miles from Barcelona. He tells police he came forward after he saw his name and image being circulated in the media.
The El País newspaper says Oukabir, or someone with his ID, rented the Fiat van used in the attack.
QC: Here The Guardian report is misleading. While earlier reports by El País (August 17) stated that the alleged suspect 28-year-old Driss Oukabir, had been arrested by the Police, El Nacional (quoted by the Daily Express) reported that the suspect: “presented himself at a Catalan police station in Ripoll to deny having any involvement in this afternoon’s attack. He claims his ID was stolen and used by the terrorists to rent one of the vans used for the attack. Local sources, confirmed by the town’s mayor, Jordi Munell, have said that the young man, who lives in Ripoll, attended the police station to deny any involvement in the events” (Daily Express, August 17, 2017, emphasis added)
It is worth noting that the Daily Express report contradicts its own headlines which state that he was “arrested”, when in fact he presented himself voluntarily at the the Ripoll police station. The headline is a Lie.