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"A state that had the mastermind of the Barcelona terrorist attacks as a police informant does not draw limits. We already know that it is capable of anything". This was the resounding phrase used by Catalan president Carles Puigdemont from Brussels in reaction to the news that Spain's intelligence service, the CNI, had been in contact with Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam from the town of Ripoll who is thought to be the 'brain' behind last August's attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. The CNI made contact with the imam when he was serving a prison sentence in 2014 for trafficking drugs.

Translation: The fear strategy is always accompanied by violence. Our strategy is always that of hope and, thus, of peace. A state that has the mastermind of the Barcelona terror attacks as a police informer does not draw limits. We know it is capable of anything. - Carles Puigdemont 

Puigdemont's tweeted reaction also featured an image of the exclusive story published in Interviú magazine, asserting that 300 agents belonging to six elite Spanish police units, members of the National Police and Civil Guard forces, were about to mount an assault on the Catalan Parliament by air, land and underground routes, with the objective of arresting the Catalan president during his appearance on 10th October, when he declared independence and immediately suspended its effects, offering dialogue to the Spanish government.

Puigdemont's denouncement of the Spanish government's repression follows statements in a similar line from the secretary general of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), Marta Rovira. In an interview on Catalunya Ràdio on Friday she revealed that Mariano Rajoy's executive had threatened the Catalan government that, if they continued on their line towards independence, it would lead to a climate of "extreme violence", no longer characterised by "rubber bullets" but simply by "bullets". 

For its part, the left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party stood by Marta Rovira's words, adding that their political grouping had had “information for a long time” about the intentions of Mariano Rajoy's executive and the Spanish secret service.

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