Chilling footage of a terrorist gang laughing and preparing explosives before the 2017 Barcelona massacre that killed 16 people has been played to a Spanish court during the trial of three suspected accomplices.
Moroccan terrorist Younes Abouyaaqoub, who drove a van into pedestrians in the August 2017 attack, is seen giggling as he tries on a suicide vest in the footage which was made public for the first time in court on Tuesday.
Another of the gang, Mohamed Hichamy, gives a menacing warning: ‘Each gram of this metal is going to end up in your head, in that of your children and your women.’
Abouyaaqoub and Hichamy were both killed by police, but Mohamed Houli Chemlal, who filmed the video, is one of the three defendants accused of helping the attackers in a trial which is expected to hear from 235 witnesses.
Barcelona terrorist Younes Abouyaaqoub (pictured left) tries on a suicide vest while Mohamed Hichamy (right) makes menacing statements to the camera in the footage of the jihadist gang preparing their 2017 terror attack in Spain
A suicide vest assembled by the terrorist plotters, as seen in the footage played on the first day of the trial of three alleged accomplices on Tuesday
Another man pictured in the footage is Youssef Aalla, who is thought by investigators to have died in an explosion days before the attack, at a house used by the plotters.
Authorities say the gang had planned an attack with explosive vests and grenades, but improvised the van rampage after the accidental blast which killed two of the plotters.
State prosecutor Ana Noe asked the court to display the footage on the first day of the trial near Madrid, which is expected to run until mid-December.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the August 2017 bloodshed which killed 16 people and left 140 others wounded.
Although the six perpetrators were shot dead by police, many questions remain, with victims and prosecutors hoping the trial will shed light on what happened.
The plotters are surrounded by explosives, thought to be a peroxide-based substance called TATP or Mother of Satan, which the terrorists said would do ‘a lot of damage’.
Younes Abouyaaqoub, seen here in the footage, was the driver of the Barcelona van which rammed into pedestrians, and was shot dead by police in the aftermath
Some of the plotters’ equipment as they prepare for the attack, which went ahead in August 2017 after an accidental explosion had disrupted their plans
The three men who appear in the footage speak in a mixture of Spanish and Arabic in messages supposedly directed at their ‘Infidel’ enemies.
Aalla says menacingly: ‘Allah has promised us paradise and you hell.’ Another of the trio adds: ‘Look what we’re doing, see how you’re going to suffer!’
At one point Abouyaaqoub turns to the camera and says: ‘With God’s help, we’re going to protect our religion.’
Hichamy boasts: ‘Allah has chosen us from millions of men to make you cry blood.’
Holding up one of the weapons in the room he adds: ‘This is an improvised hand grenade but it does its job.’
Revealing he smuggled it out of his workplace, he brags before launching into his chilling warning about filling victims’ heads with shrapnel, adding: ‘With your money we’re preparing to kill you.
‘You have the problem, not us.’
After running down pedestrians in the Las Ramblas shopping street, Abouyaaqoub was cornered by police and shot dead in vineyards an hour’s drive from Barcelona.
Five other terrorists were shot dead in Cambrils the following day after ramming into pedestrians in the town and fatally stabbing a woman.
Mohamed Houli Chemlal, pictured during the trial on Tuesday, filmed the video but later told authorities that he had been told what to say and did not approve of the plot. He is accused of belonging to a jihadist group and manufacturing and possessing explosives
August 2017: People gather around a memorial at the scene where a van crashed into pedestrians during the attack in Barcelona
Houli Chemlal, one of the men in the video, told authorities after his arrest that he had been told what to say and that he did not agree with what they did.
He did not answer prosecutors’ questions on Tuesday, but told the court he has ‘always shown my desire to collaborate and my repentance.’
Police said at the time they believed the terror gang were going to use the explosives to blow up landmarks including the famous Sagrada Familia church.
Investigators also found documents relating to Barcelona’s Camp Nou football stadium and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Chemlal, who state prosecutors want jailed for 41 years if he is found guilty, told the court on Tuesday that he was ‘sorry.’
Another defendant, Driss Oukabir, the brother of one of the attackers who is accused of renting the Barcelona van, denied being part of a terror cell and insisted he ‘wasn’t religious’.
The other defendant, Said Ben Iazza, admitted lending his ID card and vehicle to two customers, but denied knowing they wanted to make explosives.
Ben Iazza claims he thought the vehicle was going to be used to transport cleaning products.
He also denied knowing Abdelbaki Es Satty, the 44-year-old imam who radicalised the young men in Ripoll, their hometown in Pyrenean foothills.
Chemlal and Oukabir are accused of belonging to a jihadist group, manufacturing and possessing explosives and conspiracy to wreak havoc, while Ben Iazza is charged with collaborating with the group.
Prosecutors believe the accidental explosions on August 15 pushed them to hurriedly improvise the weekend attacks.
Chemlal survived the blast, but it killed the imam, described by prosecutors as the ‘spiritual leader’ who would send orders to his trusted inner circle which included three of the attackers.
‘They had all known each other since they were small, making the group practically impenetrable,’ an investigator told the court. ‘The secrecy between them was extraordinary.’