The man hunt for the Las Ramblas van driver — terrorist responsible for deaths of 13 people — has come to an end in a town 28 miles west of Barcelona.
It was a dramatic showdown with police too.
Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22yr-old Moroccan, became Europe’s most wanted man after he mowed down pedestrians on Las Ramblas on Thursday as part of a 12-strong Spanish terror cell attack.
He was tracked down by authorities in a town called Subirats on Monday. Residents in the area reported seeing a man attempting to break into houses before running off to a nearby vineyard.
According to the Daily Mail: Armed units were scrambled before confronting Abouyaaquob who was wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest. He died in a hail of bullets while yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ – meaning ‘God is greatest’ in Arabic.
Abouyaaqoub’s death, which has been confirmed by Spanish television stations, brings to an end the worst terror attack in Spain in 13 years, as all of his co-conspirators are either dead or in detention.
Those living in Subirats are still being warned to stay indoors, however, as police search for another man who may have been helping to hide Abouyaaqoub before he was gunned down.
The daughter of a Catalan vineyard owner says her father alerted police after they saw a car crossing their property at high speed even though the vineyard was closed off.
A public radio report in Catalan said a bomb disposal robot removed the explosives belt from the suspect’s corpse; it was later found to be a fake suicide vest.
Roser Venura was told by police to evacuate the Ventura Soler cava vineyard, located between the towns of Sadurni d’Anoia and Subirats, right away.
She says ‘we heard a helicopter flying around and many police cars coming toward the gas station’ near the property.
Authorities named Abouyaaquob as the terrorist who drove the van in the Las Ramblas terror attack. 13 pedestrians were killed and 120 injured.
Escaping the scene, Abouyaaqoub then carjacked a man named Pau Perez and stabbed him to death Thursday night as he made his getaway, Spanish officials said Monday.
Another vehicle attack early Friday by other members of his extremist cell killed one person and wounded several others in the coastal town of Cambrils. That ended in a shootout with police, who killed five attackers.
Spanish authorities have now raised the death toll in the country’s two vehicle attacks to 15, with some 50 people still being treated in hospital for their injuries.
Police have ‘scientific evidence’ showing Abouyaaqoub drove the speeding van in Las Ramblas and also killed Perez on Thursday night, regional police chief Josep Lluis Trapero said Monday.
It was found Abouyaaqoub walked through Barcelona for 90 minutes after the attack. His trail lead through the La Boqueria market and nearly to Barcelona University – before he hijacked the car.
Perez was parking his car, a Ford Focus, in a lot between 6.10pm and 6.20pm Abouyaaqoub stabbed him before 6.32pm, put him in the car’s rear seats and drove away, Trapero said.
The police chief said Perez had already died when Abouyaaqoub rammed his car through a police checkpoint, just minutes later, and police opened fire on his car.
The terrorist ran over a police office in the process and managed to evade the checkpoint. It was at 7pm that authorities found the car and Perez’s body 2 miles from the checkpoint. It was near a town call Sant Just Desvern, a town west of Barcelona. Abouyaaqoub was nowhere to be found.
That is when the incident at the vineyard eventually occurred.