Why this story matters:
The Spanish government admitted that Es Satty had worked for them as an informant, but refused to give a full account of their cooperation, which dated back to his days as a hashish smuggler.
When it comes to terrorism, experts are unanimous: smooth cooperation between different police units is key. The Catalan and Spanish governments have long fallen short of this ideal, but even more so since the political situation has deteriorated.
People of 34 different nationalities were injured or killed in the Barcelona attacks. If free-flowing information is essential in avoiding a repetition of this tragedy, then the Spanish government owes the truth to both regional and international protective security units.
Details from the story:
- The role of imam Abdelbaki Es Satty and his status as an informant of the Spanish intelligence services remain among the great unknowns of the jihadist attacks of 17 August 2017.
- Last November, the CNI (National Intelligence Center) admitted thatthey had contacted Es Satty when he was serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking in a Spanish prison.
- The contact is said to have been made "following the protocols in accordance with all the forces and security bodies of the state."
- Everything indicates that the imam created a terrorist cell from contacts he met in prison, and that he indoctrinated young prisoners.
- Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has accused the Spanish State of having hidden important information from Catalan police, Mossos. He also said that less effort should be invested in hunting down Catalan politicians and more in protecting lives of citizens.
- The mayors of Barcelona and Ripoll, where Es Satty lived, joined Puidgemont in requesting more information.