SPANISH secret service minders who were tasked with looking after the man who masterminded the Barcelona terror attacks – who was also a security service informer – were posted abroad following the atrocity, it has been revealed.

The National told last month how Abdelbaki es Satty, who led the jihadist cell that carried out the attacks two years ago, had been an informer for the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) for three years – up until the day of the attacks.

It also had him installed as an imam in the town of Ripoll, where the terror cell was based.

Spanish digital newspaper Publico has reported that following the attacks at La Ramblas in Barcelona and the coastal town of Cambrils, es Satty’s handlers were transferred to Africa and Latin America.

“To confirm their knowledge of the relationship that the secret service had with Abdelbaki es-Satty – recounted throughout this exclusive – our sources have revealed that both the CNI handlers in charge of dealing with the imam of Ripoll as an informant were sent abroad after the failure of this undercover operation: the CNI’s Girona head has been posted to a remote African country and the person handling the imam directly from CNI headquarters in Madrid has moved to the capital of a Latin American country with his family,” said Publico.

The details which were published by Publico were aimed at rebutting a story that appeared in La Vanguardia, which tried to discredit its earlier claims about the so-called “Imam of Ripoll”.

It also had extensive details of flights, phone numbers and the European cities where es Satty had stayed before the attacks.

However, Publico added that it would not be publishing them for fear of jeopardising its sources.

It said: “This newspaper also knows the identities of the CNI collaborators who took part in this disastrous operation, but is obliged to keep them secret so as not to compromise our sources or blow the cover of agents who could help to avoid a jihadist attack in the future, like the one that unfortunately occurred in August 2017 in Catalonia.”