Barcelona, a world-renowned tourist destination, has also been an attraction for jihadists on a trail linking European countries such as France and Belgium to Moroccan criminal networks.

Since the 2004 Madrid train bombings – the deadliest Islamist attack on European soil -- Spain had been spared the sort of jihadist violence that has struck France, Belgium, Germany and the UK over the past two years.

That was until Thursday, August 17, when a van mowed into crowds on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas, killing 13 people, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. Hours later, a woman was killed in a second attack in the southern coastal town of Cambrils.

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