Focus on the Barcelona Terrorist Attack

Panelists at a recent discussion about the Barcelona terrorist attack.
By UM News

Panelists at a recent discussion about the Barcelona terrorist attack.

Focus on the Barcelona Terrorist Attack

By UM News
University of Miami hosts a panel discussion about the terrorist attack and remembers the victims from the area.

A moment of silence to honor the victims of the terrorist attack in Barcelona that left 16 dead and many more injured was observed by a small gathering of University of Miami faculty, students, and visitors recently.

The August 25 event was hosted by Joaquin Roy, director of the European Union Center and the Jean Monnet Chair and professor of international studies, and attracted a room full of students and faculty who arrived to listen to very personal accounts and often emotional reflections about the recent attacks in Spain from a group of panelists who have ties to the city and the Catalonia region.

Here are some of the thoughts from the panelists:

“I think the obvious lesson from this tragedy is that radical Islam terrorism is real. But the good lesson is that the first responders were there right away. If anyone had a doubt if the Catalan government could put together a good police force then this put it to rest.” 

“What do we do about this? It really needs maximum intelligence communication and coordination amongst all of the official police and intelligent forces that are working on this problem.”

  • Ambler Moss, professor of international studies, who was stationed in Barcelona in the 1960s as part of his work with the Foreign Service.

“Nobody would think such a thing would happen in such a small, pleasant village. How do people feel in Ripoll? They feel hopeless. They [the villagers] do not understand why this happened in their village. They’re in a state of shock and the anger will come but the acceptance needs to come as well.”

“Barcelona and the region has always been a place that opens its arms to everybody. I think there will be political changes and laws that will be changed. We need to be hopeful that changes will happen. Ripoll is also called the ‘Cradle of Catalonia’ so that now that could mean the cradle of good unification of all cultures.”

  • Merce Jorda, a UM pathologist, who was born in the small town of Ripoll, Spain, where many members of the terrorist cell lived and were radicalized by a local Iman.

“I used to spend many weekends at Las Ramblas because my grandmother used to live very close to the beginning of Las Ramblas. When I was younger, I remember biking down Las Ramblas where these horrific acts were committed.”

“In a press conference with Spain’s Prime Minister Rajoy, he ended by quoting – line by line, word by word – one of the most beautiful descriptions of Las Ramblas written by Garcia Lorca. I encourage you to capture it, read it, frame it because it is just extraordinary his combination of words describing that street.”

  • Joaquin Roy, professor of international students who is a native of Barcelona, Spain.

“The fight against violence and terrorism, the unified response is extremely important. Terrorism is an old, recurrent plaque.”

“Terror sneaks into our nations, our homes, and our hearts without any notice. It stays there and is hard to combat. It is extremely difficult to eradicate, yet deep suffering is impossible to forget. We must fight united, determined and convinced. We have to act and make clear that we are against terrorism through democracy and the rule of law, and coordination has to be kept at all levels.”

  • Candido Creis, consul general of Spain.