The Spanish government is to ramp up security at busy tourist sites across the country following this week s attacks that left at least 13 people dead and more than 130 injured, it has said. The country s interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, told a press conference on Saturday morning that areas judged to be potential terror targets especially where large numbers of people gather would be given special protection .
We are going to redirect our efforts and will adapt these to every place or area that needs special protection, Mr Zoido told reporters. People of 35 different nationalities are thought to have been injured in the van attack on La Rambla, one of Barcelona s most famous tourist hotspots and authorities worry that terrorists could have eyes on the country s crucial tourism industry.
On Friday and Saturday, there was an increased police presence in Barcelona, with visible patrols across the centre of the city . A specialist police firearms team was visible near La Rambla, with marked vans parked at strategic locations. The overall security response has so far been somewhat hands-off, however, with traffic again allowed to flow freely on the non-pedestrianised section of the boulevard, which has twin traffic lanes either side of a large tiled walkway featuring cafes, artists, and market stalls. The Spanish government has also clarified that it will not be raising its terror alert level to five, the highest level, and will be leaving it at four . Level five indicates that an attack is thought to be imminent and would mean the the presence of soldiers on the streets and at places such as train stations or shopping centres.
The Spanish interior minister gave a press conference on Saturday morning
The minister said that the threat level would stay at four in part because authorities believe the alleged terror cell behind the attacks on Barcelona s La Rambla and in the resort town of Cambrils on Thursday and Friday has been dismantled. This is despite Catalonian police conducting an ongoing manhunt for 22-year old Moroccan national Younes Abouyaaqoub, the suspected driver of the van in Thursday s La Rambla massacre and the new centre of the police investigation. The decision not to raise the threat level was taken after a meeting of the the Bureau of Extraordinary Terrorist Threats, Mr Zoido said, which was attended by security officials.
The Spanish authorities may be considering the impact of a higher threat level to the country s tourist industry the second biggest in the world during high season .
Hoteliers in Barcelona approached by The Independent on Friday reported cancellations following the attack on La Rambla.
An airport security manager put a pipe bomb into her pocket after it was seized from a passenger’s luggage1, a court has heard. The “crude improvised explosive device” was found in the zip lining of the hand luggage of Nadeem Muhammad2, 43, as he went through security at Manchester Airport3 on 30 January. Security terminal manager Deborah Jeffrey told his trial at Manchester Crown Court she was called over by an officer at the security area of terminal three after the device, made of batteries, masking tape, the tube of a marker pen and wire, was discovered inside Muhammad’s small green suitcase.
She said she was told the item had been swabbed and no trace of explosives had been found so she put it into the pocket of her jacket. She said: “I popped it into my pocket.
“I put the item into my pocket so it wouldn’t go missing.”
Ms Jeffrey, who has worked at the airport for 19 years, said she later put it through an X-ray machine but could not see a detonator and did not believe it was viable. The device was later passed to counter terrorism police and, when examined by experts, found to be a “potentially viable” bomb containing nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose.
Ms Jeffrey said she had been “shocked” to see the object, which was spotted by security officers when Mr Muhammad’s small green suitcase went through scanners at the airport. She said: “I thought ‘my God, what is it?’
“There are strange things people carry in their bags but I’d not seen anything like that before.”
She said she had asked Mr Muhammad how the object got into his case and he said he didn’t know and claimed someone else may have put it there. She said: “He was just very calm and just sat, just calm and quiet.”
He returned to the airport on February 5 and flew to Italy. It was only when the device was examined by a forensics officer on February 8 that suspicions were raised and the bomb squad was called. Mr Muhammad, who was born in Pakistan but had an Italian passport, was arrested when he returned to the UK on February 12.
Parts of the improvised explosive were shown to the jury on Tuesday. The court heard the device could have been detonated if action was taken to connect wires seen protruding from it. In a report which was read to the court, forensics expert Lorna Philp said the bomb would have had the potential to cause injury to people and damage to property if detonated.
She said the person who detonated the bomb would have had to be very close to the device to connect the wires, putting themselves at greatest risk of injury. Mr Muhammad, of Tinline Street, Bury, denies possession of explosives with intent to endanger life or property and an alternative charge of possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances. The trial was adjourned until Wednesday morning, when the defence case is due to start.
Edinburgh Fringe 2017: Security barriers to be erected at the festival after London and Manchester attacks
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UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gestures while posing for a photograph at the Sydney Opera House, in Sydney . Johnson is there to attend AUKMIN, the annual meeting of UK and Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers. Dan Himbrechts
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Britain Prime Minister Theresa May walks with her husband Philip in Desenzano del Garda, by the Garda lake, as they holiday in northern Italy
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England team players pose after winning the ICC Women’s World Cup cricket final between England and India at Lord’s cricket ground in London
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Rajeshwari Gayakwad of India attempts to run out Jenny Gunn of England during the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Final between England and India at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London
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Chris Froome, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium after the twentieth stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 22.5 kilometers (14 miles) with start and finish in Marseille, France. AP
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Competitors take part in the swim stage during the AJ Bell London Triathlon 2017 at Royal Victoria Docks in London, England . The 21st annual AJ Bell Triathlon sees 13000 competitors take part in the world’s largest triathlon.
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Environment Secretary Michael Gove looks at screens in the information pod in the forest zone at the WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking, after he told an audience of environmental and countryside organisations that Brexit gives scope for Britain to be a global leader in green policy
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Screen grabbed image taken from video issued by NATS showing air traffic over the UK yesterday at 12:15pm, with red representing departures, yellow arrivals, purple domestic and blue overflights . Air traffic controllers are dealing with the busiest day in the UK’s aviation history . A total of 8,800 planes are to be handled by controllers across the country over 24 hours, at the start of a summer season which is due to see a record 770,000 flights in UK airspace – 40,000 more than last year
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Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon shows off his cufflinks after cutting steel on the first Type 26 frigate at BAE System’s Govan Shipyard near Glasgow. PA
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Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson looks at a bipedal humanoid robot Wabian2 at Research Institute for Science and Engineering at Waseda University’s Kikuicho Campus in Tokyo
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A damaged road in Coverack, Cornwall, after intense rain caused flash flooding in the coastal village.
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Prince George holds hands with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they leave Warsaw
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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during her visit to the site of Aberdeen Harbour’s expansion into Nigg Bay
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Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrives at Downing Street for the weekly cabinet meeting
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Daniel Goodfellow and Tom Daley of Great Britain compete during the Men’s Diving 10M Synchro Platform, preliminary round on day four of the Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships on July 17, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary
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Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks to the press upon his arrival at the European Council for the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels
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Switzerland’s Roger Federer holds aloft the winner’s trophy after beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic in their men’s singles final match, during the presentation on the last day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London . Roger Federer won 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. AFP/Getty Images
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Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates victory with the trophy after the Ladies Singles final against Venus Williams of The United States on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon. Getty
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The hearse departs St Joseph’s Church after the funeral service for six year old Sunderland FC fan, Bradley Lowery on in Hartlepool, England .
Bradley was diagnosed with neuroblastoma aged only 18 months . Hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects to the Sunderland football supporter who lost his battle with cancer last Friday. Getty Images
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The EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, receives an Arsenal football top from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels
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A blue whale skeleton forms the main exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London . The 126-year-old skeleton, named ‘Hope’, replaces ‘Dippy’ the Diplodocus dinosaur as the museum’s main exhibit
Rob Stothard/Getty Images
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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are welcomed to New Scotland Yard by Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick and Metropolitan Police Acting Commissioner, Craig Mackey
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Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Toro Rosso driving the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8 during F1 Live London at Trafalgar Square in London
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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Orange Order members march past Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road in Belfast as part of the ‘Twelfth of July’ celebrations . The controversial flashpoint has seen many outbreaks of serious public disorder in the past due to contentious parades
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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May gets up from her seat to deliver a speech on modern working practices at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London
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Cunard cruise liner Queen Elizabeth makes her way into the mouth of the River Mersey on her way to Liverpool past Antony Gormley’s art installation ‘Another Place’ at Crosby, north west England
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Two fisherman gather fishing pots from the North sea near Whitley Bay with storm clouds overhead as rain is expected across many parts of the UK.
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Supporters of Charlie Gard hold up placards outside the High Court in central London
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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a visit to Borough Market with Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull (not pictured) in central London
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A Loyalist climbs the Conway street bonfire built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland . Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II . The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
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A firefighter walks towards the scene of a fire at Camden Market in north London
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Buttermere in the Lake District in Cumbria, as the Lake District has been designated as a World Heritage Site, Unesco has said
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Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour Party stands in the balcony of the County Hotel as colliery bands pass below during the 133rd Durham Miners Gala
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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip John May arrive for a concert at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany
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Spectators react on Henman Hill (Murray Mount) as Britain’s Andy Murray wins against Italy’s Fabio Fognini on the big screen at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London
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Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Brexit Minister) David Davis (R) meets Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney for talks at no 11, Downing Street
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Revellers brave the heat at Wimbledon
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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking after being awarded an honorary degree at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh
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Spectators are led in on day three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
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Queen Elizabeth II talks with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay, with his wife Kati Mackinlay, leave Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London where he faced charges over his 2015 general election expenses
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Security staff with dogs before the start of play at Wimbledon
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Competitors take part in the first ever Ironman triathlon to be held in Scotland . Almost 2000 competitors took part in the grueling swim, cycle and road race which ended in Holyrood park . The swimming section was held at Preston Links in Prestonpans.
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People hold placards reading ‘Wot A DisMay’ and ‘Not One Day More’ as they take part in an anti-austerity demonstration outside Parliament in London, Britain . Tens of thousands of people took part in a demonstration against British Government and called to end austerity, further cuts and privatisation. EPA
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A screen displaying an image of Martyn Hett outside Stockport Town Hall as mourners arrive for his funeral on June 30, 2017 in Stockport, England . Twenty-nine year old Martyn Hett was one of 22 people who died in the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena after attending an Ariana Grande concert
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Campaigners from Avaaz dressed as British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian media Mogul Rupert Murdoch pose during a photocall outside the Houses of Parliament on Campaigners from Avaaz dressed as British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian media Mogul Rupert Murdoch pose during a photocall outside the Houses of Parliament on June 29, 2017 in London, England . Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced that the Competitions and Markets Authority is to conduct a further six-month investigation into Murdoch s proposed 11.7bn takeover of Sky.
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Workers using safety harnesses abseil off Bray Tower on the Chacots Estate in North London . The abseilers were taking measurements and taking notes as they scaled the building . The high-rise Tower blocks in Camden are still in the process of evacuation with some tenants refusing to leave after the cladding on the buildings was discovered to be similar to that found on the fire stricken Grenfell Tower
Pete Maclaine / i-Images
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Workmen start to remove cladding on Hornchurch Court, Hulme, Manchester as as Prime Minister Theresa May has said there must be a “major national investigation” into the use of potentially flammable cladding on high-rise towers across the country over a period of decades in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire
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A festival-goer sleeps outside their tent at the end of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm near the village of Pilton in Somerset, South West England
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Residents leave their home on the Taplow Block on the Chalcots Estate on June 26, 2017 in London, England . Residents of the Chalcots Estate have been urged to leave their homes due to fire safety fears in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy .
Four of the five Chalcots Estate towers in Camden, North London, are being evacuated after they were found to have similar cladding to that on Grenfell, attributed to contributing to the rapid spread of the blaze last week that killed at least 79 people
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Police officers on Romford Road in Forest Gate, east London, as people protest over the death of Edir Frederico Da Costa, who died on June 21 six days after he was stopped in a car by Metropolitan Police officers in Woodcocks, Beckton, in Newham, east London
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Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses revellers from the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival
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British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a news conference at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 23, 2017
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Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, after a visit to one the literary franchise’s movie filming locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain
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Racegoers cheer on their horse on Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London
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A reveller walks among the tipi tents at the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm near the village of Pilton in Somerset, South West England
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A police officer lays some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, after one man died and eight people were taken to hospital and a person arrested after a rental van struck pedestrian
The Borough Market bell is seen in Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
Two women embrace in Borough Market, which officially re-opens today following the recent attack, in central London
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attends the re-opening of Borough market in central London following the June 3 terror attack
People walk through Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, with one of his daughters, visit Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack
A woman reacts in front of a wall of messages in Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack, in central London
Vivenne Westwood walks the runway at the Vivenne Westwood show during the London Fashion Week Men’s June 2017 collections
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England players celebrate after defeating Venezuela 1-0 to win the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017 at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea