20 August 2017

Dad of Moussa Oukabir reveals teen connected to Barcelona and Cambrils terror attacks ‘became fanatical about prayer’ before the horror

THE dad of Spanish terrorist Moussa Oukabir told yesterday how the teen had become fanatical about praying in the weeks before the attacks.

Said Oukabir revealed his 18-year-old son prayed five times a day and never missed a session.

The dad of Moussa Oukabir said the 18-year-old had become fanatical about praying

But he insisted he exhibited no signs of extremism and said he must have been radicalised by others who had “messed with his mind”.

Moussa was one of five jihadists shot dead in Cambrils after they drove in to a group of pedestrians, killing one woman and injuring six other people.

His older brother Driss had earlier handed himself in to police in the family’s home town of Ripoll claiming his identity papers had been stolen.

They had been found in the Fiat van used in the Las Ramblas attack and he is thought to have told cops that younger brother Moussa stole them to hire the vehicle.

Driss was still being quizzed by cops yesterday.

The lads’ father told how the family emigrated to Spain from their native Morocco when Driss, now 28, was ten.

Moussa was one of five jihadists shot dead in Cambrils after they drove in to a group of pedestrians in Barcelona

And he revealed the family were still in shock and struggling to believe their sons were involved in the attacks.

He said: “I can’t accept the fact that my sons are the main suspects of a terrorist attack.

“I never noticed any sign of radicalisation in their behaviours. They live just like the other boys at their age.

“Moussa was a nice boy. He never hurt anyone. He had been focused on his studies and was willing to pass the baccalaureate exam next year.

“Recently, however, he started praying in a regular way. He never missed the time of his prayers.

“But it was limited to praying, he did not go further. Moussa was young, and not mature yet. I think someone messed with his mind.”

Driss Oukobir
Driss Oukobir, pictured, handed himself in to police claiming his identity papers had been stolen by his younger brother Moussa
Alamy Live News

Neighbours have told how Driss had a reputation for wild partying with girls and drinking heavily and Said revealed he he had dropped out of school and failed to finish his education.

But he insisted he had turned his life around recently.

He said: “He has been working with dignity to make a living. Today, he is captured by police and being interrogated.

“I hope that he will be cleared of the charges. I don’t want to lose both of my sons.”

At least 13 people died and a further 130 were injured in the terror atrocity on Las Ramblas
AP:Associated Press

Aissa, an old friend who grew up with Driss in Morocco, insisted he was not involved in the attacks.

He told The Sun: “I’ve known Driss since he was a small boy and there is no way he was involved.

“He was a normal kid, from a farming background. We grew up together in Aghbala in Morocco.

“He was like all kids, he liked to mess around and have fun.

“As a adolescent he got in a bit of trouble with the police, just getting drunk and stealing stuff, nothing serious.

“But he was never religious and never did anything serious. He wasn’t even in Barcelona, he was in Ripoll when it happened.

“I have no idea why anyone would do such a thing, causing so much pain.

It is shocking, terrible.”

International manhunt underway for Barcelona terror attack driver Younes Abouyaaqoub
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