"The police wouldn't let anyone leave."
"So everyone just stayed in this little space."
Forcing a tight smile, she said, "Everyone was very scared. One woman saw the van, and even the driver, but she didn't get a good look. She was in shock."
We checked the Maccabi kosher restaurant, but it was still closed, as was the Habibi Restaurant and Sisha Bar, two doors down, so we entered nearby Restaurante Cuines for a drink. There, we talked to its manager, a bearded 40-something in front of a laptop.
"Do you think this incident will hurt your business?" I asked him in English.
"And what about relations between Spaniards and Muslims?"
"I don't think so. We are very tolerant here in Barcelona. Our patron saint," he chuckled, "is Santiago Matamoros. Do you know what that means?"
"Killer of Moors," I grinned.
"Yes," the man laughed, "but people here get along with Muslims and everybody else. Same with Madrid. There are people in the villages who may think in the old way, but it is not serious."
Abutting La Rambla, there is a neighborhood, El Raval, that's filled with Muslims, mostly Pakistanis. When I was there in 2003, there were no Pakistani-owned electronic stores, groceries, barbershops or butchershops. Most of Spain's Muslims, though, come from Morocco.
Within hours of the van attack, a 28-year-old Moroccan was fingered as the driver, since he had, miracle of miracles, supposedly left his Spanish passport in the van. Seeing his face in the news, Driss Oukabir immediately turned himself in in Ripoll, 67 miles from La Rambla. Oukabir said his passport had been stolen, so he had nothing to do with the attack.
The prime suspect, then, became Moussa, Driss' brother, but the 17-year-old, along with four other Muslims, was killed by police just 8 hours after the Barcelona incident. It's claimed they were attempting another van attack in Cambrils, an hour and a half by car from Barcelona, but why were five "terrorists" packed into one van? The clusterfuck doesn't make sense.
Just think of all the recent terror incidents, from 9/11, Orlando, Charlie Hebdo to Nice, where all the accused are conveniently killed, leaving the official narrative unchallenged in a court of law.