Barcelona attack could have been far more deadly

A massive international manhunt is underway for the main suspect behind Spain's terror attack - the young man who drove the van down the city's most recognisable thoroughfare, Las Ramblas, killing 13.

Local media are reporting the attacks were supposed to be far more deadly, with the Sagrada Familia the primary target.

Neighbours say that had "no relationship" with the would-be attackers.

"As far as I know it wasn't just one person there, maybe 20 one day, one the next, eight the day after... They were Moroccan, they just looked like normal people," one resident told Channel 4.

Despite the attacks, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido defiantly stated that the country wasn't raising its terror level threat.

"We can now say more or less the terrorist cell has been dismantled," he said.

But Catalonia Police weren't so quick to reassure, saying one man is still on the run.

Younes Abouyaaqouust, 22, is believed to be the driver of the van which careened down Las Ramblas.

Last year police recommended installing barriers or bollards along Las Ramblas to protect people from attacks by vehicles. It was rejected by the city.

Throughout Europe, authorities have been forced to weigh up protecting the public with changing the face and infrastructure of their cities because of the spectre of terrorism.

Alongside the candles, messages and flowers, there are more police. Security is being stepped up especially in major tourist areas.

But it's action after the fact, when there is so much damage which has already been done.