An imam? A man who had devoted his life to understanding Islam properly and communicating it effectively got involved in a jihad mass murder plot? Why, it’s astonishing! Had he fallen under the influence of “right-wing extremists”?
“Spain attack fugitive whereabouts unknown as Barcelona mourns,” by Daniel Bosque and Hui Min Neo, AFP, August 19, 2017:
…The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attacks, believed to be its first in Spain.
The terror cell was reportedly made up of at least 12 men, some of them teenagers. Police also confirmed that an imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, was among the suspects.
Investigators are seeking to unravel the role of the imam, who is believed to have radicalised many of the youths in a small town called Ripoll at the foot of the Pyrenees.
Several of the suspects — including Abouyaaqoub — grew up or lived in the town of about 10,000 residents.
On Saturday, police raided the imam’s apartment in Ripoll, his flatmate, who would only identify himself as Nourddem, told AFP.
Investigators were looking for DNA traces to check if he had been blown up in an explosion at the house in Alcanar, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Barcelona, where the gas canisters were found.
– Radicalising youngsters –
The imam was reportedly known to police, with Spanish media saying he had spent time in prison.
El Pais and El Mundo quoting anti-terror forces said the imam had met prisoners linked to the Al-Qaeda-inspired bombing of Madrid trains that killed 191 people in March 2004 in what remains the worst terror attack in Europe.
Moha, 46, who lives in Ripoll, said the imam was initially part of the only mosque in town, but “later left and (set up) his own prayer hall in a garage”.
“There has been a change in the community since he arrived more than two years ago,” said Moha….