US warned Spain of Barcelona attack risk: report

US warned Spain of Barcelona attack risk: report
Josep Lluis Trapero, chief of the Catalan regional police “Mossos D’Esquadra,” right, and Interior Minister for the Catalan government Joaquim Forn give a press conference in Barcelona, on August 31, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 31 August 2017

US warned Spain of Barcelona attack risk: report

US warned Spain of Barcelona attack risk: report

MADRID: US security agencies warned Spain in May that the Daesh group was planning an attack in Barcelona, where the jihadists claimed a deadly van rampage earlier this month, local media said Thursday.
The daily El Periodico de Cataluna reported that the US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) alerted Spanish intelligence officers to the threat weeks before a man plowed his vehicle into crowds of tourists along Barcelona’s Las Ramblas boulevard on August 17, killing 14 people.
“Unsubstantiated information of unknown veracity from late May 2017 indicated that the Daesh of Irak and ash-Sham was planning to conduct unspecified terrorist attacks during the summer against crowded tourist sites in Barcelona, Spain, specifically (Las Ramblas) street,” according to an NCTC briefing note published by the paper.
A spokesman for Spain’s CNI intelligence agency, contacted by AFP, refused to “confirm or deny anything on communication with other intelligence services.”
The interior ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
But the Madrid-based Cadena SER radio station quoted “anti-terror sources” suggesting that the document published by El Periodico de Cataluna was authentic.
Spain is still recovering from the twin August vehicle attacks that left a total of 16 people dead and more than 120 wounded in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils further south.
Daesh claimed both attacks.