Attacks in Spain

On August 18, ISIS claimed responsibility for two vehicle-ramming attacks that occurred last week in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain, killing 15 and injuring over 100. These incidents are the seventh and eighth such attacks in Europe in 2017 and highlight the threat posed to public assembly areas

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  • On August 17, Younes Abouyaaqoub drove a van into pedestrians at a popular commercial district in Barcelona, killing 13 and wounding at least 100. Abouyaaqoub drove over a sidewalk and zig-zagged through crowds, striking pedestrians and cyclists before escaping on foot. Spanish authorities killed Abouyaaqoub in a suburb of Barcelona this afternoon.
  • On August 18, five suspects—wearing fake suicide vests—struck several people before overturning their car in Cambrils. At least one suspect exited the vehicle armed with a knife. Police confronted and killed the assailants. The attack killed one and injured seven, including a police officer. 
  • Spanish authorities linked an explosion in Alcanar on August 16 to the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils and believe the operatives had originally planned to use improvised explosive devices at locations throughout the country. These attacks adhere to ISIS’s broader messaging that encourages sympathizers to target the West in response to military action “against the lands of the Muslims.”

There are no known or credible threats to New Jersey as a result of the Spanish operations. Nonetheless, NJOHSP provides training in vehicle-borne IED detection, improvised explosive device search procedures, critical decision making for complex coordinated attacks, and bombing incident response.  More details and trainings can be found on the NJOHSP training calendar.

  • NJOHSP facilitates physical security site assessments in coordination with county infrastructure coordinators, risk mitigation planners, and law enforcement. It also compiles a list of special events scheduled throughout the state. To share information on upcoming events in your jurisdiction, submit a Special Events Form at
  • We encourage New Jersey’s residents to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement and to NJOHSP by calling 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ or by emailing tips@njohsp.

For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at or 609-584-4000.