THE Imam accused of being the mastermind behind the Barcelona terrorist attacks was ordered to leave Spain after finishing a prison sentence for drug offences.
According to El Mundo, Abdelbaki Es Satty was told he must comply with an expulsion order when he left jail in April 2014.
The paper said a first appeal against the decision failed – but the 42-year-old Moroccan won his fight to stay in Spain after taking the case to a judge.
The unnamed judge is said to have believed that Es Satty’s forced removal would have been a breach of his international rights.
Es Satty then sought asylum in an application filed on November 29 2014, according to the trusted Spanish newspaper.
His request was described by El Mundo as a ‘standard move to legitimise even further his presence in Spain,’ and enable him to move freely among the 26 EU countries that form part of the Schengen area.
Police have confirmed Es Satty died in an explosion at a house in Alcanar on Wednesday night.
He has been blamed for ‘brainwashing’ and radicalising the terrorists.
More than 20 butane gas canisters were found intact in the rubble of the home, as well as Acetone peroxide (TATP) – often referred to as the ‘Mother of Satan’ because of the high number of accidental explosions it causes.
Mayor of Vilvoorde near Brussels, Hans Bonte, has also revealed that the Imam spent three months there at the start of 2016 looking for work.
It was after he had served a four-year prison sentence, handed down in 2010, after being caught trying to smuggle cannabis resin on a ferry between Ceuta and Algeciras.
Foreign-born nationals who receive prison sentences of more than one year in Spain often face expulsion when they leave jail.
The court that took the decision was in Castellon, where he served his sentence.