MADRID — The Latest on the investigation into the Spain attacks (all times local):
Justice officials in Spain say the imam who allegedly headed the 12-man cell that killed 15 people won an appeal for showing good behavior against an expulsion order handed down in 2015 after he served time in prison for drug trafficking.
Abdelbaki Es Satty was killed in an accidental blast a day before the Barcelona attack last week while preparing bombs for a bigger attack in which he allegedly planned to blow himself up.
A Valencia regional justice tribunal said that a local court upheld Es Satty’s appeal, saying he had found a job and showed determination to re-integrate into society. It added that court found he had just one conviction for which he served four years.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor says that some of the men suspected of taking part in the Spain attacks were in the Paris region less than a week beforehand.
Francois Molins said Wednesday that a car used in one of the attacks was in the area on Aug. 11 and 12. French investigators, working closely with Spain, want to know the “precise reasons” for the trip to France before the Aug. 17 Barcelona attack and the Cambrils attack that followed — in which the car was used.
Molins said “was it to scout, to recover things or to meet” contacts?
Hours earlier, France’s interior minister said that the car was in the Paris region two days before the attack. No one was immediately available at the ministry to explain the discrepancy.
A Swiss federal police official says at least one of the suspects in last week’s attacks in and near Barcelona spent a night in Zurich last year.
Fedpol spokeswoman Cathy Maret said information received from Spanish counterparts led Swiss police to turn up the name of one of the suspects in a Zurich hotel registry from December.
In an email Wednesday, Maret wrote: “We do not know the reasons for this visit to Switzerland. It is too early to issue a thorough analysis of the nature of possible direct links to Switzerland.”
Reached by phone, Maret declined to identify the suspect or indicate whether he was in custody or was killed during Spanish police operations following the attacks.
She said the suspect in the Zurich hotel could have been accompanied.
France’s interior minister says some of the men suspected in last week’s deadly attacks in Spain visited the Paris region two days beforehand.
Standing next to Spain’s visiting interior minister, Gerard Collomb said Wednesday “we are working to determine why the authors of the attacks came to Paris and what they did in the Paris region.”
He said a day earlier an Audi used by the attackers in the Spanish town of Cambrils had been flagged for speeding outside Paris, but did not specify when.
Portugal’s president and prime minister have attended the funerals of a Portuguese granddaughter and grandmother killed in last week’s attack in Barcelona.
Maria de Lurdes Ribeiro, 74 years old, and 20-year-old Maria Correia were in the Spanish city to celebrate the grandmother’s birthday when a van mowed down pedestrians in Las Ramblas.
Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia sent a message of condolences to the ceremony near Lisbon, calling the Barcelona attack “cruel and despicable.”
The interior ministers of France and Spain have held a minute of silence for the victims of the Spain attacks at the start of a meeting at the French gendarmerie headquarters outside Paris.
French minister Gerard Collomb and his Spanish counterpart Juan Ignacio Zoido are holding talks and signing off on plans for a joint eight-month training program of gendarmes in Spain.
The Spanish minister was also touring the French gendarmerie’s Operational Intelligence Center.
Collomb said in a TV interview a day earlier that the two countries were cooperating closely in the wake of last week’s deadly attacks in and near Barcelona that killed 15 people. Dozens of French citizens were wounded in the Barcelona van attack.
Police in northeastern Spain say they have found a belt with real explosives at the house where the terror cell accused of killing 15 people in attacks on Barcelona and another town last week had been preparing a bigger attack.
Six of the attackers shot dead by police were wearing fake suicide belts.
A police spokesman said Wednesday the belt with viable explosives was found at a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where two other cell members died in an explosion last Wednesday prior to the attacks.
Police had already found over 100 tanks of butane gas and materials to make TATP, an explosive used by Islamic State militants, at the house.
Spanish police say they are investigating material found in searches in two northeastern towns in connection to the deadly attacks last week that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona.
Police declined to say what they found in raids late Tuesday at a cybercafe in Ripoll and a house in Vilafranca del Penedes. They said Wednesday the operation continued.
Vilafranca is close to where Younes Abouyaaqoub, the suspected driver in the Barcelona attack that killed 13 people, was shot dead Monday by police.
Abouyaaqoub is known to have changed clothes, picked up knives and a fake explosive belt in the time between the attack Thursday and his death.
One of the four surviving suspects worked in the Ripoll cafe.
A judge provisionally jailed two suspects in the attack Tuesday.