May 14, 2022 6:29 pm

The independence movement clings to the conspiracy on 17-A




The Chronos device it lasted six days. From August 17 to 22, 2017. The Mossos d’Esquadra It had been designed two years earlier, after the Paris attacks, and it was activated for the first time after a van ran over dozens of pedestrians on Barcelona’s Ramblas. Some 10,000 troops were mobilized during what, in the words of an inspector, was the “most critical” moment for the Corps as a comprehensive police force in Catalonia.

The jihadists were killed, and the Catalan police investigation that followed that deployment confirmed, with forensic reports, that the Ripoll imam had died in the explosion in Alcanar, where the cell made explosives, the day before the outrage. Despite this, one of the conspiracy theories that the independence movement embraced at the time was that Es Satty, mastermind of the attack, was still alive.

Among the defenders of this thesis, a deputy from Junts, Jaume Alonso Cuevillas, also a lawyer for the father of one of the victims. The Mossos ruled it out, and justice endorsed his investigations, considering a “scientifically proven truth” that the imam was dead. However, the Government fed then, and now revives, the conspiracy theory about the attack that left 16 dead and 150 wounded. Buried the original hoax with a legal truth -the sentence of the National Court-, now the Catalan Executive demands to investigate what is true about the statement of an accused, therefore, with the right to lie: the former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, who last week last week pointed to a presumed link between the CNI, the imam of Ripoll and the attack.

It is not the first time that the independence movement clings to this thesis. Quim Torra (Junts) did it first, and now Pere Aragonès (ERC), and thus the Generalitat once again questions the role of its own police, the Mossos, after the attacks. The Catalan Executive had already embraced the conspiracy theory, twisting journalistic information, with the ultimate goal of linking the State to the attack, given the proximity of the 1-O referendum. Extreme that the Catalan police ruled out with their investigation. Despite this, and that Aragonès admits that the former commissioner inspires little confidence in him, this Tuesday he urged the Government to promote an investigation commission in Congress on the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

The independence offensive did not stop there. The President of the Parliament, Laura Borràs, went a step further, and on the same day announced that she would file a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office to determine the role of the intelligence services in the attack. Even the one who was Minister of the Interior at that time, Joaquim Forn, also called for a “thorough investigation.”

The Mossos, considered by the independentistas as a ‘state structure’, closed the door to any speculation about the massacre. «It was a Ripoll cell that planned the attack and carried out terrorist actions as a result of the unexpected explosion in Alcanar. We are clear about how it happened because we have carried out the investigation». Those were the words of Commissioner Eduard Sallent on the eve of the second anniversary of the 17-A. When it was committed, he was in charge of the analysis and intelligence area of ​​the Corps, and he also stressed that the collaboration that took place “before, during and after” the attack, both with the CNI, as well as with the Civil Guard and the National Police, was “very good”. He thus assured that there was no indication that information had been withheld from them. But not even the conclusions of its own police are conclusive for the Generalitat.

“Not a single hint”

ERC and the PDECat already demanded in 2018 the creation of an investigation commission in Congress. A request that the Table rejected on the grounds that it was an issue that should be resolved in the Reserved Expenses, where the then director of the CNI, Félix Sanz Roldán, appeared behind closed doors to detail the link between the center and Es Satty.

In Parliament, a commission was held on the attacks. The resulting report states that all those appearing highlighted “the excellent collaboration and coordination at the operational level with the State security forces and bodies.” It is true that the same text maintains that the link between the imam and the CNI remained unclarified, but on this it points out: «Sowing doubts about such sensitive matters does not fit with the concept of public service associated with political management. The security forces routinely manage information related to threats linked to violent extremism and in most cases the result of the investigation concludes that they are not true. The doubts had been tackled by Commissioner Sallent already in 2019: «I do not share conspiracy theories and I do not feed them. These hypotheses require a factual finding and the provision of reliable evidence. The Mossos did not detect “not a single indication” of the suspicions that the Government is now trying to fatten.

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