Known for its whimsical architecture, idyllic weather, beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine, Barcelona is a hub for tourism. But it sits just across the Mediterranean from North Africa, and some analysts have called it a latent hotbed for Islamic extremism. Photo by Trevor Williams

As he has so many times in the past few years, Mayor Kasim Reed once again issued a statement Aug. 17 condemning terrorist attacks in Europe.

This time, it was Barcelona, the Spanish city that preceded Atlanta in hosting the Olympic Games.

On Aug. 17, a terrorist plowed a rented van into tourists along the popular La Rambla shopping street, killing 13 and injuring at least 50 others. Some of the victims were tourists from other countries

That attack was followed hours later by another vehicle ramming in the city of Cambrils that killed one person and injured many more. Five suspects were shot dead by police shortly thereafter. 

Spanish authorities have said they could  grappling with a terrorist cell that is suspected to have been planning a wave of attacks, some of them with explosives. 

Mr. Reed called for “unity” in the face of the “cowardly” attacks, which he said was an “attempt to break our spirits.” 

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic and unspeakable loss of life today in Barcelona. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones. Atlanta shares a special connection with Barcelona – the host of the 1992 Olympic Games. Barcelona passed the Olympic Torch to Atlanta, forever linking our two great cities. We have not forgotten this bond, and reflect upon this moment during this time of sorrow.”

Atlanta economic developers travel to Barcelona every February for the GSMA Mobile World Congress. Atlanta has hosted an affiliated mobility conference each fall the past few years.

Mr. Reed said the safety of Atlanta’s residents and millions of annual visitors remains his top priority. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...