The attacks committed on August 17th and 18th 2017 in Barcelona and Cambrils (17A) surprised various analysts and observers, not because Spain was not likely to be attacked but because 17A was different from the recent attacks on European territory in certain ways.
Both the profile of the perpetrators and the reactions it produced invite us to reflect on three questions: Why did 17A happen? Who are directly and indirectly responsible for this tragedy? And, how can another be prevented? Though these are the questions that tend to arise following each terrorist attack, the case of 17A is different from the others for one main reason: the fleeting nature of the debates that followed.
Although it seems that society has turned the page, the debate surrounding the reasons these young men from Ripoll decided to kill innocent people remains open. Though the debate on radicalisation factors is progressing, today no consensus exists on the prevalence of one factor over another.
Six months after 17A, CIDOB publishes the report Revisiting the Barcelona attacks: reactions, explanations and pending discussions, a collaborative volume by researchers from CIDOB and other institutions aimed at examining the terms of these debates. In this context, on the 12th of February, CIDOB organises a debate on these issues with the participation of Moussa Bourekba, researcher at CIDOB and coordinator of the publication, Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas, senior research fellow at CIDOB, and Jordi Moreras associate senior researcher at CIDOB and associate professor at the University Rovira i Virgili, authors of this report, along with Míriam Hatibi,communications consultant and spokesperson of Ibn Battuta Foundation,and Lola López,Commissioner for Immigration, Interculturality and Diversity of the Barcelona City Council.