Security increased at police stations in Spain

Elias Hubbard
August 20, 2018

Once inside, he drew a large a knife and shouted "Allahu Akbar" [Allah is the Greatest] - the familiar Islamic phrase which has increasingly come to be associated with the opening stages of terror attacks across Europe in recent years.

The police station's security door was closed ahead of Monday's attack and the suspect repeatedly pressed the buzzer to be let in, speaking with officers inside over the intercom, Commissioner Rafel Comes, second-in-command of the Barcelona police, said during a press conference.

The man had ID documents on him, and police are checking whether they are authentic.

Barcelona police are treating a knife attack on officers at a city police station as a terrorist incident.

According to sources, the attacker is a native of Algeria.

"The attacker was shot", the Catalonia regional police said on Twitter.

Officials said the attacker had "homicidal and premeditated will" when he stormed the police station with a knife of "considerable dimensions".

Officers searched the man's home near the site of the attack.

The attacks saw a man drive a van into civilians on Las Ramblas in the heart of Barcelona on 17 August.

Monday's attack took place three days after the first anniversary of a pair of deadly assaults by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in the region that left 16 people dead and more than 120 others wounded.

Catalonia, which is home to a significant number of second-generation immigrants, has had a long history of Islamic terrorist activity.

Mohammed Atta, who flew a passenger plane into one of New York's World Trade Center towers on September 11, spent time in Catalonia shortly before the attacks.

One in four people detained in Spain in relation to extremist Muslim-linked terrorism come from the province of Barcelona in Catalonia, according to a study published past year by the Real Instituto Elcano, a Spanish think-tank, which called the province the country's "main center of jihadist activity". Comes said police have found no evidence linking those attacks to Monday's incident.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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