At Least 13 Killed In Spain Terrorist Attack - Opposing Views

At Least 13 Killed In Spain Terrorist Attack

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A vehicle plowed through a popular tourist spot in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 and wounding more than 100 others. Spanish authorities are treating the incident as a terrorist attack and ISIS has claimed affiliation with the perpetrators, but has not asserted responsibility.

On Aug. 17, a van drove through Las Ramblas, a tourist destination in Barcelona, the capital city of the Catalan province in Spain.

"I heard a crowd screaming," Tom Markwell, a New Orleans businessman who was on the scene, told the BBC. "It sounded like they were screaming for a movie star."

"I saw the van," Markwell continued. "It had already been busted on the front. It was weaving left and right, trying to hit people as fast as possible. There were people lying on the ground."

Authorities have arrested two men in connection with the attack.

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ISIS' propaganda arm released a statement asserting that the two suspects were "soldiers of the Islamic State," CNN reports.

It's unclear whether the terrorist organization coordinated the attack, but Spanish officials have designated the incident as an act of terror.

Catalan law enforcement are searching for any more potential suspects related to the vehicle attack. The situation is evolving and has been complicated by misinformation. Catalan officials have dismissed reports that there was a suspect who had taken a hostage.

An explosion at a house in Catalan shortly after the terrorist attack resulted in one death. Catalan police believe the explosion was related to the vehicle attack, CNN reports.

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"The terrorists will never defeat a united people who love freedom versus barbarism," tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, according to CNN Wire. "All of Spain is with the families and their victims."

President Donald Trump took to social media to offer support.

"The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help," Trump tweeted on Aug. 17. "Be tough & strong, we love you!"

Trump followed up with another tweet, stating, "Study what General [John] Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!"

The president's second tweet appeared to reference a factually-disputed story he had described during the 2016 presidential race. On the campaign trail, Trump asserted that Gen. John Pershing had purged Islamist extremism in the Philippines by massacring 50 suspected terrorists with bullets dipped in pig's blood in the early 20th century, according to The Guardian.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact found there is little historical evidence to support Trump's story.

Former President Barack Obama also took to social media to offer his condolences to the people of Spain.

"Michelle and I are thinking of the victims and their families in Barcelona," Obama tweeted on Aug. 17. "Americans will always stand with our Spanish friends. Un abrazo."

Sources: Barack Obama/TwitterBBC, CNN, CNN Wire via WNEP, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2), The Guardian, PolitiFact / Featured Image: Nikos Roussos/Flickr / Embedded Images: Djm1279/Wikimedia Commons, Ih/Flickr

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