Terrorists Sought to Attack Festivals, Clubs in Spain: Report

Sala Razzmatazz
Xavi Torrent/Redferns

The crowd during a concert at Sala Razzmatazz on Oct. 16, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. 

Men responsible for attacks in Barcelona researched music events and venues as other possible targets, according to new information from police.

Terrorists who ran down pedestrians in two attacks on Aug. 17, 2017, had also focused on music clubs and festivals in Barcelona and Benicassim as possible targets, according to new police information obtained by Spanish news agency EFE.   

The men who carried out the attacks in downtown Barcelona and a neighboring seaside town “took the 2015 attack at the Bataclan in Paris as inspiration,” according to a report first published by EFE. The men searched the internet for information on the Rototom Sunsplash Festival in Benicassim in Spain’s Valencia region. Steel Pulse and Shaggy headlined the 2017 event, billed as Europe’s largest Jamaican music reggae festival. This year’s Rototom Sunsplash takes place from Aug. 16-22.   

The Razzmatazz, a popular Barcelona venue for concerts by bands of diverse genres and DJ sets, the mythical disco Pacha and a festival in the beach town Sitges, a half hour from Barcelona, were also on the list of the terrorist's inquiries, according to cell phone records accessed from the phone of one member of the terrorist group. The phone was recovered from a house police said they used as a headquarters for preparing the attacks last year.  

The terrorists killed a total of 15 people in the August 2017 attacks. One hundred and thirty people were injured in the attack on La Rambla, a magnet for tourists in the center of Barcelona. Police killed Younes Abouyaaqoub, who drove a van into his victims on La Rambla, and officers later killed five attackers involved in the attack in nearby Cambrils.