World Bulletin / News Desk
The Spanish resident, originally from Morocco, had a close relationship with those responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils which left 16 dead, according to a statement from Spain’s Interior Ministry.
After the Barcelona attack, in which a young man drove a van through a crowded street, police discovered the terrorist cell had been planning a much more serious attack.
Police say the cell had acquired at least 100 kilograms of highly explosive acetone peroxide (TATP) and planned to fill vans with it in order to blow up various important landmarks in Barcelona.
However, the material is highly volatile and the terrorists accidentally triggered it, blowing up their base and killing the presumed mastermind behind the attack, an imam called Abdelbaki Es Satty, the night before the Aug. 17 van attack.
TATP has also been used in recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and Manchester.
Spain’s Interior Ministry says the man arrested on Wednesday is suspected of helping the terrorists obtain the materials needed to make the explosives and had an especially close relationship with the radical imam.
The investigation remains open, yet is not the only security concern for police in Catalonia. A major operation also continues to prevent a controversial Oct. 1 independence referendum, set to take place less than six weeks after the terrorist attacks.
The steps include improving security barriers in crowded places, guidance on design to protect public spaces, and advice on how to protect sports and cultural events.
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