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Attack suspects in court

Four alleged members of a terror cell accused of killing 15 people in attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort appeared in court Tuesday, a day after the last missing member of the cell was gunned down by police.

The four men were arrested last week for their alleged involvement in planning or carrying out vehicle attacks on pedestrians in Barcelona on Thursday and the northeastern town of Cambrils early Friday.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal, a 21 year-old arrested after he survived an explosion at a house in eastern Spain last week, was the first to testify before National Court Judge Fernando Andreu in Madrid. Andreu will decide whether the four should be jailed or released.

Chemlal's testimony is considered key to understanding the motivations of the 12-man cell that killed 15 people and wounded over 120 in the two vehicle attacks. He is the lone survivor of a blast Wednesday that destroyed a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where police believe the cell was preparing explosives for an even bigger attack on the city. Over 100 tanks of butane gas and materials to make TATP explosive were found at the house, police say.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors said the four would be interrogated throughout the day in the presence of lawyers provided for them by the court. Speaking anonymously in line with court rules, she said the testimony would be in Spanish without interpreters.

Suspect Driss Oukabir was arrested Thursday in the northeastern town of Ripoll, as were two others identified by Spanish media as Mohammed Aalla and Salh el Karib. Police have not yet confirmed the last two names.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The lone fugitive from the cell — 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub — was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two police who confronted him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized.



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