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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Spain Jails Three Men for Aiding Jihadists in 2017 Barcelona Attacks

Spain’s highest criminal court on May 27 handed jail sentences between eight to 53 years to three men found guilty of helping the perpetrators of the 2017 Barcelona attacks.

The Audiencia Nacional sentenced Mohamed Houli Chemlal to prison for 53 years and six months and Driss Oukabir for 46 years for belonging to a terrorist organization, possessing and manufacturing explosives, and causing terror-related harm and damage.

The court, however, cleared Chemlal and Oukabir of 14 counts of terrorist murder and other charges in a ruling spanning over 1,000 pages.

Still, the court gave Chemlal and Oukabir the maximum possible sentences because “they formed part of a terrorist cell at a time when the decision was made to carry out… one or several acts of extreme seriousness.”

The court sentenced Said Ben Iazza to eight years in prison for collaborating with a terrorist organization by lending his identity documents and a van “that he knew would be used to buy and transport chemical products.”

The charges, which followed a three-month trial, are linked to the Barcelona attacks that killed 16 people and wounded 140, becoming Spain’s worst attack since the Madrid train bombings in March 2004.

On Aug. 17, 2017, a van driven by Younes Abouyaaqoub mowed down pedestrians in Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona. The following day, five other attackers rammed a car into a crowd in the nearby coastal town of Cambrils and fatally stabbed a woman.

Local police fatally shot the five Cambrils attackers at the scene, then officers shot Abouyaaqoub several days after the attack.

Jihadist militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks and described the perpetrators as their “soldiers.”

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