The Catalan minister of Interior, Joaquim Forn, has assured that previous criminal records of the imam of Ripoll "did not figure" in the database of the Mossos (Catalan police). Forn referred in this way to the request of information from the Belgian police, just after chairing the Security Council meeting of Cambrils.
The minister said that the Mossos "did not commit any error", but what they did was to reply to "information in an informal way". Forn explained that the records of the imam of Ripoll, Abdelbaki Es Satty, were not registered on the database of the Mossos. Moreover, he pointed out, for the time being the Mossos are not able to have any direct relationship with foreign police forces.
This morning, it was made public that the Mossos maintained an "unofficial" communication with the Belgian police in which information was requested from them about the imam of Ripoll, who is considered the brain behind the terrorist attacks.
The contents of the e-mail
A police agent in Vilvoorde (Belgium) sent an e-mail to a leader of the general information commission of the Mossos in March 2016, in which it was asked for any information about the imam, as he was seeking to work in the city.
The head of the Unit of Strategic Analysis Unit of the Mossos searched the database of the Catalan police but did not find any result, as Forn explained in the press conference this morning.
Integration into Europol
The minister of Interior pointed out, in the same manner as Turull this morning, that there is a will among some media to try and stain the good work of the Mossos in their handling of the attacks. "It seems that some want to discredit the work of the Mossos," said the minister, who has said that he is "surprised" for the fact that, faced with the new threat from Daesh yesterday, "the concern of some media is to diminish the role of the Mossos and to put them in doubt by muddying their work."
At the same time, the head of Interior has also insisted on the entry of the Mossos to Europol, a demand from the Catalan government to Spain's Interior Ministry that has accelerated as a result of the attacks. Forn is confident that the deadline to enter the organisation that groups the European police forces will be fulfilled.
According to the agreement with Spain's Interior Minister, José Ignacio Zoido, in the Security Council meeting last July, the Mossos should be able to access the database of Europol from September.