A terrorist identified as Youssef Aalla, who participated in attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on Aug. 17, 2017.
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The town in northeastern Spain is struggling to return to normal after local youngsters cut short the lives of 16 people.For months, a group of friends, among them four pairs of brothers, were captivated by the imam of a mosque in Ripoll who convinced them to plot large-scale attacks.In Ripoll the nagging question came back: How could men 17 to 28 years old, who grew up here, with friends who weren't Muslims, belonging to sports clubs, working and speaking fluent Catalan, change so much?The investigation points to imam Abdel-Baki Es Satty, who had a criminal record for drug trafficking in Spain, as the one who entranced the youngsters.This radicalization went unnoticed, even by their closest friends and family, regional police spokesman Albert Oliva said.And being integrated in society doesn't necessarily mean a thing, Oliva added.Marsi, the former municipal mediator, said the young men may not have felt Spanish or Moroccan, referring to their heritage.Smoking in front of the Esperanza bar, the meeting place of the 500-strong Muslim community in Ripoll, Mohammad curses the imam between cigarette puffs.
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