It claimed the lives of two people, while another was seriously injured
Portuguese investigators ruled out the terrorism scenario after the attack with a knife that took place yesterday, Tuesday, in a center of Shia Muslims in Lisbon and claimed the lives of two people, while another was seriously injured, the head of the judicial police, Luis Neves, announced today.
“There is nothing to indicate that this is a terrorist attack” or that the suspect has been “radicalized,” Neves said, adding that according to all indications, “it appears that this is a common criminal law crime.”
“What may have happened here, but will only be able to be determined with a psychiatric evaluation, is that it is a psychotic crisis,” he said, clarifying that the investigation is ongoing.
According to reports, the suspect, an Afghan refugee, was attending language classes yesterday morning at the Ismaili Center in Lisbon – the Ismailis are a community of Shiite Muslims. His behavior changed after he received a phone call.
Armed with a large knife, he first seriously injured a teacher, before killing two female workers at the center and being quickly neutralized by police who used firearms. The man is currently being treated in the Portuguese capital.
The prosecutor’s office announced the start of an investigation. The suspect “will not be able to appear before a judge before a dozen days,” the director of the judicial police clarified.
According to the first elements of the investigation, it is an “isolated act”, but the motives have not yet been clarified, the Minister of the Interior, José Luis Carneiro, said yesterday.
Investigators were able to trace the suspect’s itinerary from his country of origin to his arrival in Greece, where his wife died in a fire. The suspected attacker, a father of three children aged between 4 and 9, had arrived in Portugal in 2021. He was due to go to Germany in the coming days with his children, according to Neves.
The suspect was worried about the fate of his children, according to Portuguese media, which revealed a video filmed two years ago and released on social media.
The Ismaili Shiite Muslim community has established its world headquarters in Lisbon, and its spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, received Portuguese citizenship in 2019.
The Ismailis, a minority sect of Shia Islam, are a community of 12 to 15 million people spread over about 30 countries. In Portugal they number about 8,000 members.
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