La Rambla Boulevard, Barcelona, Spain [Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]
This past week, radical Islam reared it’s ugly head again. The first 2 terrorist attacks aimed at civilians, occurred in Spain and were the result of the influence, encouragement and indoctrination of radical Islam.
On Thursday August 18th, the world was saddened to learn of a car ramming attack in Barcelona, Spain that left 13 civilians dead and over 100 injured. Police confirmed that the driver of the van was a 22 year old Moroccan man named Younes Abouyaaqoub. He is also implicated as a key member of a 12-strong jihadist cell responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and later in nearby Cambrils.
It has now emerged that an imam living in the town of Ripoll, where Abouyaaqoub and several other suspects came from, is suspected of recruiting young people to an extremist cause. Family members of the dead suspects said they believe Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty radicalised several young people from the town.
The morning following the Barcelona attack, the world again learned of an attack on civilians by radical Islamic terrorists. This time, the attack occurred in Cambrils, Spain, a coastal town about 120 kilometers southwest of Barcelona. It was there that the Muslim attackers drove their car into three people, before smashing into a police car stationed at a checkpoint. One woman later died of her wounds and a number of other victims suffered injuries as a result of the attack. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks in Spain. Spanish law enforcement officials believe that the 2 attacks were coordinated together by a terrorist cell operating within Spanish borders. All of the main suspects are believed to have lived in the north-eastern town of Ripoll.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu had the following Facebook post in response to the wave of terrorist attacks in Spain (the English is on the bottom):
On Friday, in Turku, Finland, police said a man stabbed two people to death and injured 6 others.
“First thing we heard was a young woman, screaming like crazy. I thought it’s just kids having fun … but then people started to move around and I saw a man with a knife in his hand, stabbing a woman,” said Laura Laine, who was sitting in a cafe during one of the attacks. “Then a person ran towards us shouting ‘He has a knife’, and everybody from the terrace ran inside. Next, a woman came in to the cafe. She was crying hysterically, down on her knees, saying someone’s neck has been slashed open.”
The suspect, 18-year-old Moroccan Abderrahman Mechkah, was arrested after being shot in the leg by police. The attacker appeared to have singled out women as his targets. Police in Finland are treating the incident as an act of terrorism. No group has claimed responsibility, but Finnish police said they were looking into any possible links between the Finnish stabbings and the attacks in Spain and that they had issued an international arrest warrant for a sixth Moroccan national. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service reported that the suspect attacker’s profile is similar to that of several other recent radical Islamist terror attacks that have taken place in Europe and that they considered the incident to be the first suspected terrorist strike in Finland.
On Saturday, in the west Siberian city of Surgut, a knife-wielding man went on a stabbing rampage in a Siberian city, wounding seven people before police shot and killed him. The attacker was reportedly a local resident and Russian media have reported he was inspired by Islamic State, a terrorist organization banned in Russia.
Unfortunately, attacks like the ones in Barcelona are not uncommon. Over the past few years, Islamic radicals have been indicated in a number of large terrorist attacks throughout the world. Some of these attacks come from people who have immigrated to a new country and refuse to become integrated in that society. Instead of contributing to the society and culture of their new home, these new “citizens” kill and maim other civilians of their new host country. It is sad to think of the reality of those groups of people that use G-d as the justification for their killing and taking of innocent lives.
We, in Israel, express our deepest condolences and heartfelt support to the families of all that were affected by these recent terror attacks. Israel stands together with our neighbors in Europe and Russia in fighting the terror that all of us face as a result of the threat of radical Islamic ideology and indoctrination; a terror which dare espouse the name and word of G-d as its justification.