A pro-ISIS media outlet that had threatened the “disbelievers” of Spain before last week’s attack issued a fresh warning over the weekend that jihad there “has not been fought and gone” and cells remain in Barcelona and beyond.
Fifteen people were killed and at least 130 injured Thursday when terrorists belonging to a local cell plowed a rented van through crowds on Las Ramblas, a long pedestrian mall in Barcelona. Jared Tucker, 43, of Walnut Creek, Calif., who was on his honeymoon, was one of those killed. The deceased and wounded came from 34 different countries.
The suspected driver of the van, Younes Abouyaaqoub, was shot by police today near a gas station 25 miles west of Barcelona. He was reportedly wearing a fake explosive vest. The cell of 12 men was reportedly in the attack-planning stages for six months and had amassed gas cans to use in vehicle attacks.
The new message, addressed “from the Islamic Republic of Spain to the Government of Spain” and issued by the pro-ISIS Wafa Media Foundation, warns that Spain is still considered a target because of “military operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain and in neighboring Iraq and Somalia.”
“Do not you know, O worshipers of the Cross, that the war has not been fought and gone, and that they live today in Barcelona,” the message added in reference to jihadists.
The message references Gibraltar and Andalusia, which was once under Moor rule and bears many landmarks from its Islamic era, to Catalonia. “This is one of our priorities. Today, we create our own community.”
The Wafa’ message was the second in a series, with the first part issued last year. The group ominously noted that they don’t plan on issuing a part three.
“Black days during our attack on your big cities like Madrid, Paris, London, and Brussels,” Wafa’ warned in the first part dated March 28, 2016, adding that they will kill “innocent Spanish” as they’re occupying Muslim lands.
In May 2016, Wafa’ warned in a message to the citizens of Spain and all Spanish-speaking countries that lone jihadists existing in those areas would kill the “disbelievers” as “previously planned.” In August 2016, the media foundation said that jihadists had to step up their game to make attacks in Spain worse than terrorist operations in France. Wafa’ pressed jihadists to kidnap or kill Spanish nationals.
The Wafa’ Media Foundation issued a June message encouraging arson jihad — which was detailed in the January issue of ISIS’ Rumiyah magazine — after the Grenfell Tower fire, which authorities believe was an accidental electrical fire, killed dozens on June 14 in London. The group also issued a justification of the May 22 bombing outside a concert in Manchester, UK, and promoted terrorist Omar Mateen after the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.