Spain Court Remands In Custody Church Attack Suspect For 'Te...| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 26 March 2023 03:47 GMT

Spain Court Remands In Custody Church Attack Suspect For 'Terrorism'

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Madrid: A Spanish court ordered a Moroccan man accused of storming two churches with a machete, killing a verger and seriously injuring a priest, to be remanded in custody without bail.

The 25-year-old alleged attacker, Yassine Kanjaa, will be held on remand on suspicion he carried out 'murder' for 'terrorist purposes,' the National Court said in a statement.

Police arrested Kanjaa at the scene of the bloodshed which took place late on Wednesday in the southern port city of Algeciras.

The suspect first entered the church of San Isidro where he allegedly attacked a 74-year-old priest with a machete 'leaving him seriously wounded,' the interior ministry said.

He then entered the nearby church of Nuestra Senora de La Palma where he is alleged to have attacked the verger with the machete and chased him outside before killing him, the ministry added.

The court said the alleged acts carried out 'can be classified as a directed jihadist attack, both against priests who profess the Catholic faith, and against Muslims who, according to the suspect, do not follow the Quran.'

The investigations so far indicate the suspect 'acted alone' and 'did not count on the help of third parties,' the court added.

Kanjaa, who had been served with a deportation order in June due to his unauthorised migrant status in Spain, lived near the two churches which are just 300 metres (more than 320 yards) apart.

He had no prior convictions and had not been under surveillance.

In court documents seen by AFP, the judge leading the investigation said the bloodshed could be considered linked to 'jihadist Salafism' and that after his arrest, the suspect repeatedly shouted: 'Allahu akbar' (God is greatest).

The Spanish government has not ruled out the possibility that the suspect had mental problems.

A neighbour of the suspect told AFP on Friday that the young Moroccan 'was not right in the head' and had 'completely changed little more than a month ago'.


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