It is the first time in six years that Islamist extremists have launched an attack in Spain
The suspect in last week’s machete-wielding attacks on two churches in southern Spain has been remanded in custody, the judge investigating the case has announced.
Judge Joaquin Gadea prosecuted 25-year-old Moroccan Yassin Kanzaa for “homicide with terroristic intent” and many bodily harms after he allegedly killed a young man and wounded four other people in the city of Algeciras on January 25.
Kanjaa was arrested shortly after the attack.
It is the first time in six years that Islamist extremists have launched an attack in Spain – the previous one was in Catalonia in 2017, where 16 people were killed and nearly 200 injured.
If found guilty he could be sentenced to life in prison.
According to judicial authorities, the evidence shows that Kanzaa launched a jihadist attack against both Catholic priests and Muslims who, in his view, do not follow the teachings of the Koran.
One of his victims was a Moroccan citizen whom he considered an “infidel” because he thought he had renounced the Muslim faith.
Authorities believe Kanjaa acted alone after finding no evidence that he had pledged allegiance to any organization.
Police describe the attacker as “unstable” and believe he radicalized himself in a very short time. People who knew him testified that he completely changed in the month to a month and a half before the attack and that until then he had led a “normal” life.
His roommates reported that Kanjaa, who used to drink alcohol and smoke hashish, at one point completely changed his habits and started listening to sermons on his mobile phone.
A neighbor told AFP that the young Moroccan was “not well” and that he had “changed his demeanor”, growing a beard and wearing only a djellaba.
Canjaa is accused of attacking the 74-year-old priest of the Sin Isidro church last Friday afternoon, seriously injuring him in the neck.
He then went to the Nuestra Señora de la Palma church, a few hundred meters away, and killed the 60-year-old youth while injuring three other people.
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With a wealth of experience honed over 4+ years in journalism, I bring a seasoned voice to the world of news. Currently, I work as a freelance writer and editor, always seeking new opportunities to tell compelling stories in the field of world news.