We probably have to thank the dirty war against Catalonia conducted in the depths of Spain's interior ministry for giving us access to a key fact on last August's terrorists attacks in Barcelona: the imam of Ripoll, the mentor of the Jihadist terrorist group, had been —since when? until when?— an informant for Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI). This black hole in the explanation of the attacks in Barcelona and in the town of Cambrils explains many things and sows doubts about many others. So many, that given the gravity of the events of those days, which led to 16 deaths and 200 injuries among people of 34 different nationalities, the case cannot and must not be considered closed, politically speaking. The terrorist commando was dismantled thanks to the skill of the Catalan police, with a balance of eight terrorists dead and four persons under arrest, but now light has been shed on new areas and it is absolutely necessary that a parliamentary commission is created in Spain's Congress —since the Catalan Parliament has been dissolved by the Spanish government— to allows the doubts and suspicions that now exist to be clarified.
Why was it that just a few hours had gone by after the terrorist attacks when a police and political-mediatic operation was set under way with the fundamental goal of putting in doubt the role played by the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra? A key accusation that was always hanging over the debate about the events is why the Catalan police had not kept a closer watch on the imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, the mastermind of the terrorist group based in the northern Catalan town of Ripoll. But now, it is inevitable that the question is a different one: why didn't the Spanish secret services share the information they had about the imam with the Mossos? Would it have made a difference? It remains as a glaring truth that as a result of the terrorist episode the Mossos as a police body had to accept two contrasting realities: they gained significant recognition in Catalonia from both the citizenry and the political class, and, on the other hand, doubts were raised about them from beyond the river Ebro, in the rest of Spain. Which were transformed again into praise from the international community.
The final question is that the Government that handled the response to these attacks is in prison or in exile, and Mossos chief Josep Lluís Trapero has been stripped of his functions by Spain's interior ministry and relegated to menial administrative tasks. For that reason there is a great need for a parliamentary commission, and it can be expected that, at least, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) and the Catalonia in Common party will demand this urgently in Madrid. Because the government of Catalonia, stripped of its functions by Mariano Rajoy, can only make its protests and appeals to public opinion. And because those carrying out the functions of that government, whether in Madrid or Catalonia, will not initiate such a commission. The Spanish government prefers to talk about Russian connections or communist intrigues in Catalonia, and to send its ministers and spokespeople to propagate these ideas to the world, rather than getting to the bottom of the terrorist attacks or explaining what actions the Spanish state had really threatened to carry out if Catalonia's independence had ended up being made to stick. Whether the state really did threaten deaths in the street.
With only one administration effectively operating in Catalonia and all the power in the hands of the Spanish state, we have to trust that from other sectors of politics, there will be demands to take this matter to its end and find out the truth - for reasons of democratic good health.