Imam suspected of organizing Spain attacks avoided deportation, was labeled ‘no threat’ – reports

‘The Moroccan man who allegedly instigated the attacks in and around Barcelona last week escaped expulsion from Spain in 2015 after serving a sentence for drug trafficking, local media report. The imam posed “no real threat,” the judge ruled back then.

Albdelbaki Es Satty, one of the deceased members of the Islamist cell which is said to have carried out the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, was ordered to leave Spain in 2014 at the end of his jail term for drug trafficking, according to El Mundo, which obtained access to judicial documents.

Two members of that cell called Es Satty the key organizer of the plot, as the four surviving suspects gave statements at the high court in Madrid on Tuesday.

Although Es Satty’s role is yet to be defined, Catalan police chief Joseph Lluis Trapero indicated that investigators are working on a hypothesis that the imam radicalized the group’s members, La voz de Galicia reports. Earlier, however, a police spokesperson said they “can’t compromise evidence or leads, or give unreliable information” concerning Es Satty.’

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