Thirteen years after the 2004 Madrid bomb attacks, Spain was again targeted by jihadist terrorists. At around 5 pm on 17 August 2017, Younes Abouyaaqoub drove a van down the Paseo de las Ramblas in Barcelona, hitting large numbers of people in the central pedestrian area of the street, from the Plaza de Cataluña to the “Pavimento Miró”. Fifteen people were killed in the attack —including two children aged 3 and 7— and another 131 were injured. The Jihadist terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack through its news agency, Amaq.
Luca Russo was on holiday with his girlfriend in Barcelona. He had graduated from university at the end of 2016 and a few weeks before they went on holiday he had landed a job. He celebrated on Facebook posting the message: “Ready to begin a new work experience. Stay hungry, stay foolish!”. He also thanked “all the people who have accompanied and supported me over the years”. “We were walking together when the van came towards us,” Luca’s girlfriend told her aunt, who was interviewed by the Ansa news agency. “Marta fell to the ground and Luca disappeared. She never saw him again, his body was swept away,” said Marta’s aunt.