Four of the terrorists who were killed at Cambrils were shot by a single police officer. Among them was Abouyaaqoub’s cousins Mohamed and Omar Hychami.
Abouyaaqoub, his brother and cousins were all of Moroccan origin. Relatives in M’rirt, 90 miles south-east of the Moroccan capital, Rabat, said they last saw him and Mohamed when they paid an unexpected visit in March.
Both men had become religiously conservative, and were refusing to shake the hands of female relatives, according to a female cousin interviewed by Reuters, who asked not to be identified.
One relative said Mohamed was the more conservative of the two cousins, but added that he had frequented nightclubs and drank alcohol before his behaviour changed about three years ago.
Spanish authorities on Monday shot and killed the suspected driver of the van that plowed into crowds last week in Barcelona, according to the Catalan police.
Younes Abouyaaqoub was killed during an operation in Subirats, west of Barcelona, police said in a tweet. Police earlier said they had shot a man wearing an explosive belt but did not immediately identify him as Abouyaaqoub.
A robot was sent to remove the explosives belt from the body before officers were cleared to approach it and make a positive identification, authorities said. The suspect also had knives in his possession when he was shot, said José Lluís Trapero, head of Catalan police.
“They told us to keep inside, to be ready for anything,” Pere Pons, the mayor of Subirats, told Catalan radio. “A little while ago the police called us to stay in our houses. To keep calm, to wait for more police to arrive.”
He added: “The entire town is surrounded by police.”
The police operation was continuing, however, amid reports that the fugitive may have had an accomplice during his flight and that the police were inspecting an abandoned van. The authorities in Sant Sadurní, another town west of Barcelona, issued a message on Twitter warning residents of a police intervention and urging them to remain calm.