France and Spain vowed on Wednesday to step up their cooperation in the fight against terrorism at a meeting here between the two country’s interior ministers. At a press conference, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb and his Spanish counterpart Juan Ignacio Zoido announced that they had signed an agreement to jointly train 120 French gendarmes alongside Spanish officers at a police academy south of Madrid.
According to Xinhua news agency, the meeting of the two ministers was planned a while ago but became more significant after last week’s terrorist attacks in Catalonia, which killed 15 people and injured over 120 others. The ministers said they discussed ongoing investigation into the double attacks during their meeting.
A few days before the attacks, several members of the suspected terror gang were spotted in France, according to the French police. Investigators are still trying to trace their journey, specifically a visit to Paris by one of the key suspects, Younes Abouyaaqoub, who was shot dead by Spanish police on Monday.
Besides Spain and France, the investigation has now extended to Belgium and Switzerland, as several suspects, including an extremist preacher Abdelbaki Es Satty, were spotted in these countries before the attacks. The preacher is suspected to have played a key role in the radicalisation of the young gang.