The terrorists want to destroy universal values of freedom and tolerance. If Europe fails refugees it is a kind of victory for them
Spain has been a model of solidarity in the three days since the terror attacks that killed 14 people in Barcelona and Cabrils. That number is now known to include the seven-year-old Julian Cadman, who had dual British-Australian nationality and whose engaging image has been on front pages. He had been missing since the savage vehicle attack on Thursday afternoon. On Sunday morning the king and queen led the mourners at a service in La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s cathedral, which, perhaps paradoxically in the circumstances, was conceived by Antoni Gaudí as a paeon to faith and nationalism. More than 1,500 people packed the church, while nearby Las Ramblas continued to be a focus for grief and resistance.
But behind the solidarity, Spain’s national cohesion faces more stresses than in most European countries. At least eight of the terrorists appear to have grown up in one small town, Ripoll. Their horrified families are blaming Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam of one of the town’s mosques, for radicalising their sons. The small community, where one in 10 residents is a migrant, is in a state of shock to discover that football-loving kids who appeared entirely comfortable with their Spanish identity set out on such a murderous course. Police, who are investigating what they now say was a plot to launch a huge terror attack, are trying to establish whether the imam died in a gas explosion that destroyed a house last Wednesday.