UPDATE: Police in Barcelona, Spain say at least 13 people were killed in Thursday’s terrorist attack. Catalan officials said at least 50 others were injured and one man has been taken into custody.
August 17, 2017 Law enforcement officials in Spain say a van jumped a curb and intentionally plowed into a crowded sidewalk in the Las Ramblas district in Barcelona on Thursday. At least one person was killed in the attack and 32 others were transported to nearby hospitals. Police are still searching for the driver of the van.
Catalan Police said the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack, but a motive has not been established. The Las Ramblas District in Barcelona is a top tourist destination. Catalan emergency services asked city officials to close metro and train stations in the area, and there are multiple reports that two gunmen are baracaded in a bar in Barcelona’s city center, and there have been reports of gunfire in the area. It is unclear if the incidents are connected.
Worldwide, similar attacks using vehicles as weapons have been carried out in recent months. On Saturday, a man with ties to a White Supremacist group intentionally plowed into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virgina where a “Unite the Right” rally was suppose to take place. On Monday, an 8-year-old girl was killed when a car intententionally crashed into a sidewalk cafe of a pizza restaurant in a small town near Paris, France.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."