Homeland Security

ISIS Video Vows 'Cells Are Ready' to Launch New Barcelona Attack

Declaring that “the cells are ready” to strike “designated” targets again, an ISIS-allied media group threatened fresh attacks in Spain in a video invoking the August 2017 Las Ramblas attack.

Younes Abouyaaqoub, who plowed a rented van into crowds on the Barcelona pedestrian street, was part of a cell that, hours later, launched another vehicle attack in coastal Cambrils. Those five jihadists, along with Abouyaaqoub, were killed by police. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks through its Amaq news agency.

The six-minute, Spanish-language video released a week ago shows images of bodies in the Las Ramblas attack. It also shows photos of veiled Muslim women being taken into custody by police in various situations, calling for a “new attack in revenge for our sisters.”

Abouyaaqoub is lauded as “the hero of Barcelona” and he’s shown escaping the scene of the attack.

The group distributing the video goes by the name Muntasir Media, with “muntasir” meaning “victorious.” The video vows to attack “when you least expect it” and charges that Spain is “putting all the Muslims on the same side and feeding hatred.”

It’s the most overt ISIS threat to Spain since the Las Ramblas attack, but not the only one.

Muharir al-Ansar, which has been one of the active ISIS-affiliated media groups steadily crafting and circulating English-language incitement and recruitment propaganda, in March released an image of Spain with the order to jihadists, “If you do not have a weapon, you have a truck or knife.”

The same media group, in October, circulated a poster online showing a drone doing the work of the jihadist to attack Paris.

A pro-ISIS media outlet that had threatened the “disbelievers” of Spain before the Las Ramblas attack issued a warning afterward that jihad there “has not been fought and gone” and stressed that cells remain in Barcelona and beyond.

That message, addressed “from the Islamic Republic of Spain to the Government of Spain” and issued by the Wafa’ Media Foundation, warned 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.

Wafa’ also referenced Gibraltar and Andalusia, which was once under Moor rule and bears many landmarks from its Islamic era. “This is one of our priorities. Today, we create our own community.”