Van plows into crowd in Barcelona, killing more than a dozen: ISIS claims responsibility – Forward Observer Shop

Van plows into crowd in Barcelona, killing more than a dozen: ISIS claims responsibility

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured in Barcelona after a van plowed into pedestrians in a busy tourist street.

More than two hours after the atrocity a man was shot dead after driving through a roadblock in a Ford Focus and opening fire, injuring two police officers.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, describing the killers as ‘soldiers of the Islamic state’. Terror police are also reported to have arrested two suspects.

One of them is believed to be Driss Oukabir, a Catalan resident in his late 20s of Moroccan origin.

Oukabir, who has reportedly served time in a Spanish prison, had earlier rented one of the vans used in the deadly attack. The suspect is being treated ‘as a terrorist’, police in Barcelona have confirmed.

Horrifying pictures and video from the scene show armed police and paramedics rushing around Las Ramblas, a busy promenade in the center of the city, as victims lie hurt in the street.

It remains unclear how many attackers were involved in the massacre, which is being treated by police as an act of terrorism.

The president of Spain’s Catalonia region says police have arrested two people following the van attack, which happened in Barcelona’s bustling Las Ramblas district.

In a brief news conference this evening Carles Puigdemont said 12 people are confirmed dead and at least 80 have been hospitalized after the van drove onto a sidewalk and swerved through a busy pedestrian area.

The region’s interior minister had earlier tweeted that 13 people had died in the attack.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau says a moment of silence will be held in the city’s main square at noon Friday ‘to show that we are not scared and we are more united than ever’.

Police have confirmed that at least 84 people are hurt, with Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise because of the ‘very serious’ wounds to victims.

Source: Daily Mail

Bottom line: The Islamic State appears to have settled on a preferred method of attack — the automobile — to carry out terrorist attacks, at least against Western targets. It makes sense; cars and trucks are ubiquitous in Western society. Turning a vehicle into a weapon is much easier, legally and otherwise, then smuggling or stealing firearms and explosives. And judging by the most recent attacks, vehicles can be just as deadly.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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