Van Attack In Barcelona


A van has crashed into a crowd in the Las Ramblas section of Barcelona.

Reports are fragmentary and contradictory on Twitter. Here is the Guardian’s article, to be updated.

Keep in mind that early reports in a situation like this are often inaccurate. There has been a report of two gunmen, but also reports that that is incorrect.



74 replies
  1. 1

    Sigh, got friends living there. Gotta wait for news.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Sadly, we already know terrorists create and follow fashions. The Tamil Tigers were the first to use suicide bombers. The IRA pioneered the technique of planting two bombs so that rescue crews would be injured in the second blast. European terrorists have been crashing trucks into people, and then US terrorists copied them, and now you have more assholes copying back.

    Humans suck sometimes.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    Police in Spain saying very likely a terrorist attack.

  4. 4
    Laura says:

    I have three dear friends there on holiday.
    My soul is sick, this world is too much right now.

  5. 5
    Yarrow says:

    It really looks very similar to the attack on London. Vehicle assault and then driver/gunmen retreat into a restaurant. So far the second half of that hasn’t been confirmed but eyewitnesses are reporting gunshots.

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    State media now says 1 killed, 20 hurt.

  7. 7
    Tenar Arha says:

    Waiting for Agent Orange’s reflexive tweet: 3,2,1….

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    Heartbreaking. Barcelona is my favorite city in the world. Warm, friendly, sunny, pedestrian friendly.

    Not surprised at the target. It can be pedestrian gridlock there, on the Ramblas near Plaza Catalunya (major metro/train terminal and shopping area — El Corte Ingles, Apple, H&M). There are always police around, but attacker van no doubt moved swiftly.

  9. 9
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    NPR just said 2 dead now.

  11. 11
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @BBCDanileS is tweeting Barcelona Police bulletins.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s early. We’re not in Barcelona. Don’t panic.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tenar Arha: “Once again radical Islamic terrorists have disrupted a beautiful city that needs a Trump Tower.”

  14. 14

    @Villago Delenda Est: even if we were in Barcelona it would still be a bad idea to panic. Rarely is it a good idea.

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: I think CNN showed video from someone’s camera of the van. It was really flying down the street if that was the van.

  16. 16
    hovercraft says:

    @Tenar Arha:
    I think you are mistaken. I distinctly heard him say that the reason for him saying “many sides” on Saturday was because unlike the fake news, he likes to get the facts before he comments! He will hold off on commenting until he knows what those facts are, so he should be tweeting in about 45 hours.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Heartbreaking. Barcelona is my favorite city in the world.

    The second I heard the news, I thought of you, knowing how you love it. You must have many friends there, too; I hope they are all safe.

  18. 18
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Tenar Arha:
    He’s what little FP credibility he had with Cville

  19. 19
    Rob says:

    I can’t take any more. The world is broken.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m thinking what a young crowd you usually see there.**

    Weirdly, last summer I left Barcelona to join a friend in Nice; we got there within a few weeks of that truck attack and the street memorials at the sight were still up. And then Nice took them down, maybe 3 or 4 weeks after. Should find my photos and share some.

    Attacks like this can happen anywhere. Barcelona will be fine.

    I am thinking of all the lovely Muslims I met — vigorous community there. Barcelona will not allow itself to be polarized. They remember Franco.

    ** ETA: along with the usual tourist commandos. Avoided walking on the Ramblas as much as possible, because just too crowded.

  21. 21
    Rob says:

    Just now on Twitter from a VoA journalist:

    Steve Herman‏ @W7VOA
    13 dead in #Barcelona, according to police quoted by a broadcaster.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Tenar Arha: He doesn’t say anything until he has all the facts.

    Hovercraft already mentioned this. I do think someone suggested he wait, because the optics would be bad.

  23. 23
    p.a. says:

    @Mnemosyne: possible 1st car bomb: Wall St, 38 dead, bomb possibly in support of Sacco & Vanzetti. never solved.

    re:Nazis/Nazism, I thought conservatives were against historical revisionism. 🤷‍♀️

  24. 24
    Mike in DC says:

    There are also Basque separatists in Soain, though this doesn’t seem to be their tactical style.

  25. 25
    Yarrow says:

    @Rob: Horrible.

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    The world takes note of Trump’s ‘failure of character’
    08/17/17 12:48 PM
    By Steve Benen
    The Economist, based in London, published a brutal piece in its new issue on Trump’s “failure of character,” featuring a cover in which Trump is depicted shouting into a white megaphone – which also happens to be a Klansman’s hood.

    The Washington Post reported that the American president’s latest offense “earned him another wave of backlash from world leaders.”

    British Prime Minister Theresa May didn’t call Trump out by name but said in a statement Wednesday there was “no equivalence” between the two sides. […]

    “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them,” May said. “I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far right views wherever we hear them.”

    Trump’s remarks renewed calls by some British leaders and activists for his state visit to the country to be canceled, according to the Guardian.

    Some of the most heated criticisms came by way of Berlin, where German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement, “It is unbearable how Trump is now glossing over the violence of the right-wing hordes from Charlottesville. No one should trivialize anti-Semitism and racism by neo-Nazis.”

    There was even a demonstration yesterday at the Brandenburg Gate. Foreign Policy reported, “Hundreds of protesters gathered at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate Wednesday to denounce white supremacy and express support for victims of the recent violence in Charlottesville.”

    The article added, “The crowd chanted ‘Nazi scum go away,’ and volunteers collected donations for the victims of Charlottesville.”

    There’s already ample evidence that Trump is woefully unpopular across much of the planet, with American allies, who applauded Barack Obama, rejecting his Republican successor in overwhelming numbers. That, of course, was before Trump started defending torch-wielding bigots – a development that will likely push his global standing down even further.

    Ben Rhodes, a former foreign policy adviser in the Obama White House, added this morning that it’s “hard to overstate the impact that Trump’s response to Charlottesville will have abroad causing people to question basic assumptions” about the United States.

    Some modern presidents have struggled with the title of Leader of the Free World. Donald J. Trump has taken the mantle and thrown it away.

  27. 27
    Timurid says:

    We’ve been incredibly lucky that the recent attacks in this country (Portland, Alexandria, Charlottesvile, etc.) have been carried out by people who are not exactly criminal geniuses, and the casualties have been limited. Eventually somebody will be better prepared or just luckier and then…

  28. 28
    MomSense says:

    Oh no.

  29. 29
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Do Republicans or their voters actually give a shit how our allies view us?

  30. 30
    Cain says:

    @Tenar Arha: he is waiting for it to be Muslims

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    Our French houseguest was with her family in Niece (her hometown) and 50 meters by her reckoning from the Bastille Day lorry attack. These events touch us in unexpected ways.

  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    And Trump isn’t going to say one word that will contribute anything positive or useful in response to the attack.

    Of course, shaming our Nation even further.

    We used to be good as a country about offering a helping hand in times like this.

  33. 33
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @p.a.: The 1919 Wall Street bomb was not a car bomb. It was a horse and wagon bomb.

    And I doubt the horse was consulted as to its feelings about become part of a terrorist attack.

  34. 34
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    I can’t wait to hear Trump talk about how both sides were to blame for this attack.

  35. 35
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Do Republicans or their voters actually give a shit how our allies view us?

    No, this has been another depressing edition of SATSQ.

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    If by “allies” you mean Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel, hell yeah.

  37. 37
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  38. 38
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @ Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) : If they think it might make us seem weak. Because that would be the worst.

    They hate our freedoms, don’t you know.

  39. 39
    trollhattan says:

    BBC has this aerial diagram of the van’s path.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Yes. They think if our allies are pissed off at us, it’s a good thing. With the possible exception of Britain, but the rest of our allies, especially in Europe, are to their international relations vision what coastal blue states are to their domestic vision: they hate them far worse than they do any of the nation’s actual enemies.

  41. 41
    trollhattan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Per BBC:

    Posted at 10:13: Police say one dead and 32 injured, 10 seriously
    The police of Catalonia say one person has died and 32 have been injured, ten seriously, in the incident in Barcelona.

    Cold comfort, but hopefully accurate WRT fatalities.

  42. 42
    p.a. says:

    “But if he was to perish, then Germany would perish too. ‘We’ll not capitulate. Never. We can go down. But we’ll take a world with us.”

    Excerpt From: Richard J. Evans. “The Third Reich at War.” PENGUIN group, 2010-02-26. iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    TPM today: Trump will clearly, happily destroy the GOP if he feels the party has proven disloyal to him. Given what’s happened, it would be richly deserved. But Trump’s greatest powers are not as head of the GOP but as head of state of the country. He would happily destroy the country too to sate his own anguished feelings of betrayal. Sound hyperbolic? Why would the pattern be any different written on so large a canvass?

  43. 43
    Shlemazel says:


  44. 44
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @p.a.: Hey Deep State(TM) what are you waiting for…. the stakes are too high.

  45. 45
    Irony Abounds says:

    I was in Barcelona and Rome earlier this summer. Frankly, it is surprising there is not more of this given how crowded the streets and public transportation are. Very sad.

  46. 46
    Spanky says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: The Deep State has given what it’s got. It’s up to Mueller at this point, given the unanimous Republican complicity.

  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:


    He would happily destroy the country too to sate his own anguished feelings of betrayal. Sound hyperbolic?

    Sadly, no.

    The question has always been, will the Secret Service ever decide the country comes before their mission?

  48. 48
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Spanky:Oh I think the Deep State(TM) has much more they can release if they wanted. There’s got to be comms intercepts with Russians etc.

  49. 49
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  50. 50
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  51. 51
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    But that’s crazy. They stood by us during WW2 and the Cold War and share our values. This is so fucked up. I swear if Trump is reelected, the GOP holds onto its majority through voter suppression I’m getting the hell out of here. I’m not waiting for Rwanda: The American Edition.

  52. 52
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  53. 53
    ThresherK says:

    Some folks watching the USA’s rightwingers’ instructional videos?

    Barca is the one really good team I root for. (Sorry, Dulwich Hamlet.) I expect their FB feed will be all over this.

  54. 54

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Do Republicans or their voters actually give a shit how our allies view us?

    Yes, actually. Very much. But again, they live in an entire other world from us. They want our allies to worship us as the biggest bully on the block, and believe that will be true if we act like it. It’s the only social relationship they understand. So much so that if America acts like a bully and you present proof the rest of the world doesn’t like it, they will not process that information. Bullying = respect has to be true in their mind. There are no other possibilities.

  55. 55
    Mike Toreno says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Why is Barcelona your favorite city in the world? I’m hoping to move to Portugal next year, so naturally have a great interest in information about places nearby.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @p.a.: Yes. He would happily destroy the country. Everything, EVERYTHING is about him.

    He must be brought down. Hard. He must be crushed.

  57. 57
    Rob says:

    I’m in somewhat better spirits now.

    Though, sad news:

    Steve Herman‏Verified account @W7VOA
    Catalonia official confirms 13 dead, 50 wounded in #Barcelona.

    Retweeted Joaquim Forn
    Joaquin Forn Verified account @quimforn
    La meva més rotunda condemna a l’atemptat terrorista de Barcelona. Podem confirmar 13 morts i més de 50 ferits. @mossos @solercampins
    11:24 AM – 17 Aug 2017

    Back to working and lurking.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike Toreno:

    Not me, Elizabelle. Sadly, I’ve never been to Barcelona, but E’belle spent several months there earlier this year.

    Although from all I’ve seen and heard and read about Barcelona, I’m sure it would be way up there on my own list of favourite cities :-)

  59. 59
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I saw a (partial) solar eclipse in Barcelona, to bring this back to an earlier thread. I have a nice photo of all the little eclipse crescents projected onto a fancy sidewalk by the leafy trees, not too far from where this attack happened. It’s a beautiful city. I remember being struck by how you could tell the locals from the tourists because the locals always dressed so sharp.

  60. 60
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    ABCNews just broke in with breathless coverage that made it sound like nothing like this has happened in America, but we should be on alert for ISIS to target us. Shut up David Muir, were you too busy getting a spray tan this weekend to pay attention?

  61. 61
    Interrobang says:

    Don’t forget that the terrorists who invented this tactic were Hamas and Fatah and they first got major media attention for using it in Jerusalem. A friend of mine just happened one day to not be at the Jerusalem light rail stop (Ammunition Hill; I’ve been there myself) where a terrorist plowed into a crowd of people and killed a 2 year old girl.

    At least the US hasn’t seen anybody digging incursion tunnels into various places for the purposes of terrorism yet, but that one’s a little harder to pull off.

  62. 62
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mike Toreno: There’s so much crazy, beautiful architecture there. The Sagrada Familia gets all the attention, but Gaudí and a bunch of other wild late-19th/early-20th-century architects designed weird buildings all over the city. And then there’s the old medieval downtown.

    The landscape itself is cool, with the city crawling up into the mountains around the edges. Parc Güell is a great place to go to celebrate both at the same time.

  63. 63
    satby says:

    @Mike Toreno: it’s one of my favorite cities too: great architecture, walkable, right on the Mediterranean, great public transportation, lovely people.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I have a nice photo of all the little eclipse crescents projected onto a fancy sidewalk by the leafy trees, not too far from where this attack happened.

    Oh, please send it to Alain for the “On the Road” feature. I’d love to see that photo, and the backstory makes it especially interesting right now.

  65. 65
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Now I need to figure out if I can find it again!

  66. 66
    glory b says:

    @Interrobang: I understood that the first ones to use this tactic were the Tamil Tigers, but fail to see how it matters.

    But I see Mnem got there first.

  67. 67
    J R in WV says:


    I know Steve Herman, a great guy and good reporter. He worked here with Mrs J years ago, always loved Asia and went there to work, wound up with VOA some time back. I kind of hope he isn’t on site, that is really the hardest part of news work, the catastrophes and atrocities. I see he’s in Washington now, @WhiteHouse bureau chief @VOANews. So that’s a promotion.

    Boring busy routine over and over, and then when something happens, it’s usually a disaster. I can’t really post most of what I just typed. It’s much harder work than most people ever know, PTSD happens to them. She has dreams.

    Puppies and kittens are better. I was doing OK until this…

  68. 68
    J R in WV says:

    @Mike in DC:

    ETA, the Basque seperatists, surrendered some time ago, and not long ago gave up their weapons caches to the government. So that’s over, I think. I hope.

    The Basque country is beautiful, stark mountains with bare rock spires, peaceful hillside pastures, fishing ports, really ancient towns. Caves with 30,000 year old paintings.

  69. 69
    J R in WV says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio):

    The 1919 Wall Street bomb was not a car bomb. It was a horse and wagon bomb.

    And I doubt the horse was consulted as to its feelings about become part of a terrorist attack.

    So, Republican technology, then?

    sorry, bitter humor is how I cope….

  70. 70
    Rob says:

    @J R in WV: J R — that’s cool! Herman came to my attention some years ago for some reason, when he was in Seoul, and I have read/followed him at least intermittently ever since as he moved to Bangkok and then (back) to DC. He seems to be on top of international events, Korean or not. And I don’t think he’s in Spain at the moment.

  71. 71
    Mike G says:

    I’m so very surprised that Trump has something deeply stupid to say about today’s attack.

  72. 72
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Found and submitted!

  73. 73
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  74. 74
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