CNN: Copycat of Charlottesville?

CNN: There Will Be Questions About Whether Barcelona Attack Was ‘Copycat’ of Charlottesville

BY: David Rutz

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said Thursday there would be questions if the Barcelona terror attack involving a van crashing into a group of people was a “copycat” of what happened in Charlottesville, Va.

At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 were injured in Barcelona on Thursday when men rammed their van into a crowd of pedestrians at Las Ramblas, a popular tourism area in the city in northeastern Spain. The attack came five days after a man with white supremacist group ties was arrested for driving his car into a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, killing one woman and injuring multiple others.

CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto said the “shared tactics” of the attackers in both instances was “alarming.”

“In light of the uproar of the last several days, five days apart you have a white supremacist in Charlottesville use a vehicle to kill, and here you have attackers at least following the modus operandi of terrorists using vehicles apparently to kill as well, and those shared tactics that should be alarming,” Sciutto said.

“There will be questions about copycats,” Blitzer said. “There will be questions if what happened in Barcelona was at all a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though there may be different characters, different political ambitions, they used the same killing device: a vehicle going at high speed into a group, a large group of pedestrians.”

There have been multiple terror attacks before the events in Charlottesville involving perpetrators using cars; last July, a terrorist in Nice, France, killed 84 people by plowing his truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

UPDATE: 2:34 P.M.: This article was updated with more up-to-date information on the victims in Barcelona.

*(MORE FROM THE RELIGION OF PEACE) – Barcelona terrorist attack: 13 dead, 50+ injured as van plows into pedestrians in tourist area

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Thirteen people have died and more than 50 others have been injured in a “massive crash” involving a van in Barcelona‘s city center, local police have confirmed. Authorities have called the incident a “terrorist attack.”

Catalan Interior Ministry official, Joaquim Forn, confirmed the death toll in the attack on his Twitter page.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the deadly van attack in Barcelona, Catalan’s regional head Carles Puigdemont has said.

Earlier, the local police said that one person has been detained, with images of the arrest circulating online.

The Spanish prime minister said he was on his way to Barcelona to reinforce security in the city.

“Maximum coordination to arrest the attackers, reinforce security and attend to all those affected,” Mariano Rajoy wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, the La Vanguardia newspaper reported that one of the perpetrators involved in the van attack had been shot dead by police during a gunfight.

A white van smashed into a crowd on the famous La Rambla, a street popular with tourists visiting the city.

The crash occurred after the van jumped the sidewalk, AP reported.

Catalan Police said they were treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack through it’s Amaq news agency.

The driver of the vehicle escaped on foot, according to El Nacional.

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The Spanish passport of a person of Moroccan origin was left at the scene of the attack, Barcelona’s TV3 reported.

Media reports say the suspect behind the attack is a man by the name of Driss Oukabir.

The vehicle used in the attack was a rented Fiat van. The perpetrators had also rented a second car with which they had planned to flee, according to La Vanguardia.

Police located the second van connected to the attack in the Catalan town of Vic, Reuters reported, citing local authorities.

A person tweeted following the attack that they were stuck in a restaurant, adding that armed police are “everywhere.”

Catalan Emergency Services tweeted that an incident occurred near Plaça Catalunya and advised people to avoid the area.

It said in a second tweet that the closure of rail stations in the area had been requested.

Authorities have cordoned off the area and shut down nearby stores. A helicopter could be seen hovering above the scene.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was in contact with authorities, stressing that the priority was to help the injured.

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Authorities have asked people to refrain from sharing pictures of those injured on social media, out of respect for the victims.

Vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in Europe in a series of terrorist attacks since July 2016, when the driver of a truck plowed into people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing over 100 people. Similar attacks have since taken place in Berlin, London and Stockholm.

*(FROM THE RELIGION OF PEACE) – BREAKING: VAN SMASHES INTO CROWD IN BARCELONA, 13 DEAD, MULTIPLE INJURED

Police treating incident as terror attack…

Infowars.com – AUGUST 17, 2017

A van plowed into numerous pedestrians outside a food market in Barcelona Thursday leaving 13 dead and more than a dozen injured, in what police are describing as a terror attack.

“Witnesses said a white van driven by a man mounted the pavement before crashing into pedestrians. The driver then fled the scene,” reports Express.co.uk.

Subsequent reports claim gunshots were heard near the La Boqueria food market, and El Periodico newspaper  reports that two men entered a nearby bar and took people hostage.

Devastating footage from Twitter shows the gruesome aftermath of Thursday’s truck attack.

Warning: graphic footage.

“Metro lines have been shut and shoppers and pedestrians have been seen running into buildings as armed police flooded the area,” according to The Sun.

A graphic from the BBC maps the path of the truck as it rammed into a pedestrian zone:

Thursday’s truck incident follows months of jihadist attacks in Europe and the UK mainly attributed to radical Islamists, with the terror group ISIS claiming responsibility for much of the violence.

More on this as it develops…

*(FROM THE RELIGION OF PEACE) – Van smashes into pedestrians in central Barcelona

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A van has struck a group of pedestrians in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona city center. Catalan police say they have activated attack protocols, but cannot confirm the motive behind the crash.

The driver fled the scene on foot, according to local reports. It’s not clear how many people have been injured, but images from the scene show several people lying on the ground in the immediate aftermath.

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  • 16:30 GMT

    Authorities have not yet confirmed how many people were struck in the attack, however local media sources are reporting that at least one person has been killed and between 20 and 25 people have been injured. Police confirmed there are dead and injured, but have not specified the number.

  • 16:29 GMT

    It’s still unclear whether there are one or two attackers on the run. The department of the interior is searching for a second van that the attacker, or attackers, may have used to flee the scene, El Periodico is reporting.

  • 16:23 GMT
  • 16:21 GMT

    Catalan news channel TV3 says an assailant is in the ‘Rey de Estambul’ restaurant on Carrer de l’Hospital, which shares a junction with Las Ramblas.

  • 16:19 GMT

    Spain’s department of the interior has tweeted that a manhunt is underway “for the author of the attack.”

     

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16:16 GMT

Emergency services are tending to the injured at the scene.

 

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  • 16:10 GMT

    Two armed men, who are understood to have been in the van, are “entrenched” in a bar following the crash, El Periodico newspaper is reporting.

  • 16:06 GMT

    AFP is reporting that Spanish authorities have labelled the incident a “terrorist attack.”

*(FROM THE RELIGION OF PEACE) – Al Qaeda top bomb maker publishes blueprint for attacks on key U.S. transportation systems

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By Adam Kredo

The al Qaeda terror group’s chief bomb maker has published a blueprint for new attacks on U.S. transportation systems, including planes, trains, and boats, which the terror group views as “prime targets,” according to a copy of a lengthy manifesto that provides a guide for would-be terrorists to launch attacks.

Ibrahim al-Asiri, a top al Qaeda leader known as the terror group’s chief bomb maker, detailed the extremist organization’s plans to target U.S. passenger and shipping transportation services, which the terror organization views as weak links ripe for attack.

While al Qaeda’s operations have been weakened by years of U.S. attacks on its key locations and apparatus, it has increasingly relied on promulgating its radical ideology to so-called “lone wolfs” who are not officially affiliated with the group but who are capable of carrying out terror attacks without detection by American authorities.

The shift to lone-wolf attacks highlights al Qaeda’s continued influence and brand strength among jihadists following the rise of splinter groups such as ISIS. Al Qaeda is still a primary source of concern for the U.S. intelligence community, which continues to see the group as a central threat against American safety.

Al-Asiri emphasizes in his manifesto, published in the latest issue of al Qaeda’s chief propaganda organ Inspire Magazine, that lone jihadists could easily carry out terror attacks on bustling locales, such as airports and train stations.

“We will be focusing on targeting means of transportation,” the terror leader writes in the English-language article, which was first highlighted by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “We will explain more on this, which is part of the general policy of targeting the ring of security in the chain.”

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“When referring to transportation we refer to air, sea, and ground transportation—both local and international. Jihad groups and organizations may have the ability to target international means of transportation,” according to the al Qaeda leader. “As for the Lone Mujahid, his abilities may be limited to targeting internal means of transportation of a country. And it is possible for him to draw a comprehensive plan so as to execute such kind of operations.”

Trains are of particular significance to this plan, especially freight trains that carry a range of key consumer products.

“In America, trains are considered to be among the most important means of transportation within the country,” the article states. “What becomes apparent is that it is too difficult to protect these means of transportation. And here is where we find its vulnerability—means of transportation today are considered to be a weak point which we must focus on.”

The al Qaeda leader urges potential terrorists to focus on three key areas: The trains themselves, the routes they follow, and stations they might stop at.

Due to the difficulty in policing and monitoring these areas, they are viewed as a prime target to cause the most mayhem. An attack would not only disrupt the U.S. economy, but foster panic in the American population and drain many resources, according to the blueprint.

“Some transport companies may get into bankruptcy if targeted regularly and are unable to secure themselves, this will make people seize using such a company for their transportation needs,” according to the article. “These are the most important consequences that may accompany these kind of operations.”

Attacks of this nature can be carried out on a small budget and cause significant amounts of damage and death, which is of particular interest to al Qaeda.

“With little resources, it is possible to achieve great results, this is, if the operations is well executed and planned,” according to the blueprint article. “The results of these kind of operations are disastrous to the economy, especially if they occur regularly.”

“It is difficult for the authorities to secure all security loopholes in these operations,” the terror leader states. “The ability to use different kinds of weapons, and ways to subdue the enemy according to the conditions and circumstances at hand.”

The article ends with al Qaeda’s traditional call to violence against America and its Western allies.

“Target America, by Allah they are in a great predicament,” the article states. “We should continue to focus our efforts against it until the world gets rid of this international system led by America, and until Muslims enjoy freedom to practice their faith, freedom to apply the Laws of Allah and until Muslims secure themselves, wealth and resources from the hands of America.”