Both of the Ripoll imam’s CNI handlers were posted abroad after the terrorist attacks in Catalonia in 2017
Article translated by MILFORD EDGE @milfordedge (barbaryfigs)
According to intelligence sources to which Público has had access, the secret service transferred the handlers of the mastermind behind the Barcelona terrorist attacks to distant countries. These sources also claim that the a posteriori police reports reconstructing the activity of the jihadists do not contradict the confidential CNI notes revealed by this newspaper at all, nor do they deny the fact that Es-Satty was an informant.
The sources that revealed to Público that the imam of Ripoll was a Spanish secret service informant up until the eve of the Ramblas attack belong to the field of Intelligence and the material they have provided to this newspaper – confidential reports on Abdelbaki es-Satty and the jihadist cell that he led – come from the National Intelligence Centre (CNI). They have nothing whatsoever to do with the subsequent reconstruction of the terrorists’ movements painstakingly put together by the Mossos d’Esquadra.
We have repeatedly stressed this, but the leak to La Vanguardia of the exhaustive “Chronological report on the activity of the persons under investigation” delivered by the Mossos d’Esquadra to Central Court No. 4 of the National Court on 25 October 2018 attempts to show that everything that the National Intelligence Centre contributed to the team of investigators could be reconstructed a posteriori, as the police specialists who analyzed the mobile telephones seized from the cell were able to do.
However, all the confidential CNI material to which Público has had access – without letterheads, stamps or dates, of course, as anyone who has ever seen any such secret service documents will tell you is compulsory – refer to data and facts obtained solely by the CNI, and have no relation to the data extracted from the recovered electronic devices. And the reason is obvious:
“All the reports that the CNI contributed to the investigation omitted the data that could be obtained from the analysis of the recovered devices”
“From the outset, all the police forces had access to the clones made of all the devices by the Mossos Operational Intelligence Unit who found them”, explains this newspaper’s confidential source. “The CNI was well aware of this, so all the reports that it prepared and contributed to the investigation ignored that data which could be obtained directly from an analysis of the cloned phones. In addition, the CNI did not have physical access to those devices, since they were in the possession of the court”.
Therefore, all the information contained in these internal CNI notes is independent of the content on the seized devices and, for the most part, focuses on the data regarding the jihadist network’s activities abroad, such as the contacts of the cell leader Es-Satty in Salafism’s nerve centre in Europe: the suburbs of northeastern Brussels in the Flemish region bordering the Belgian capital (from Vilvoorde to Zaventem).
That is precisely what is detailed in another exhaustive confidential report that the CNI presented to police investigators (see excerpt at beginning of article) which contains information about Es-Satty’s trip to Belgium from 26 to 28 March 2017, a mere five months before the attacks. And not only the data of flights “Gerona-Charleroi-Gerona FR-6091 and FR-6902” and that given in the ticket reservations – passport and telephone numbers, email addresses and a VISA card number “ending in -6601 in the name of Abdelkarim Aaissi” – but also other information which is much more difficult to obtain after the facts:
“During these days he used the Belgian telephone number 32485922761”, the CNI specified when explaining that he visited “the towns of Zaventen, Diegem and Vilvoorde, and could be staying at Abdelkarim Aaissi’s home”.
The leaders of the jihadist nerve centre in Belgium
Elsewhere in that report (a fragment of which is reproduced above), the CNI describes how Es-Satty had access to these extreme Salafist circles: through the Aquichouh family. For example, how Hayat Aquichouh is married to Abdelkarim Aaissi, who booked Es-Satty’s Brussels-Barcelona flight a year earlier. And the secret service thoroughly analyses the three members of the Aquichouh family who lead this jihadist network in Belgium and control the Youssef, Diegem, Ennasr, Vilvoorde, e Islah, de Zaventem mosques, providing all of their telephone numbers (some have four different ones) and their email accounts.
None of this information forms part of the chronological reconstruction carried out by the Mossos d’Esquadra because it is not on the recovered devices, and it is presented in a written style normally used by the CNI in reports reserved for the law enforcement agencies, as has been confirmed to the newspaper by various police sources that have seen such documents on other occasions.
In summary, the documents provided to Público by its intelligence sources are not part of the reconstruction conducted by the police after the facts at all. Some of the data they provide was then used to request judicial proceedings, as we explained yesterday, and corresponds to information provided by the CNI.
“The CNI’s Girona delegate is now in Africa and the imam’s Madrid handler in Latin America”
And, in order to confirm their knowledge of the relationship that the secret service had with Abdelbaki es-Satty – recounted throughout this exclusive – our sources have revealed that both the CNI handlers in charge of dealing with the imam of Ripoll as an informant were sent abroad after the failure of this undercover operation: the CNI’s Girona head has been posted to a remote African country and the person handling the imam directly from CNI headquarters in Madrid has moved to the capital of a Latin American country with his family.
Of course, neither their identities nor the specific details of their transfers can be published without jeopardizing both the sources of this exclusive and these undercover agents in the Spanish secret service.
This newspaper also knows the identities of the CNI collaborators who took part in this disastrous operation, but is obliged to keep them secret so as not to compromise our sources or blow the cover of agents who could help to avoid a jihadist attack in the future, like the one that unfortunately occurred in August 2017 in Catalonia.
And we repeat: it was a jihadist attack following a serious intelligence failure, and not a conspiracy of any kind.
MILFORD EDGE @milfordedge
Original source: Público @publico_es
Author: CARLOS ENRIQUE BAYO @tableroglobal
Publication date: 30 July 2019