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Who is the alleged perpetrator of the attack in two churches in Spain?


FOCUS - Yasine Kanjaa, a young Moroccan who arrived in Spain last summer, is suspected of having killed a sexton and injured a priest in Algeciras. If he is the subject of an expulsion proceeding, no criminal record appears on his file.

A spine-chilling attack.

Yasine Kanjaa is suspected of having killed a sexton and injured a priest in an attack in southern Spain, in Algeciras, on Wednesday January 25.

The 25-year-old Moroccan, arrested by the police after the tragedy, was the subject of an expulsion proceeding from Spanish territory.

No history of terrorism or evidence of radicalization appears on his criminal record.

Arrived in Spain during the summer of 2022, Yasine Kanjaa was arrested by the police on June 16 in Cadiz, in the south-west of the country, according to the Spanish newspaper

El Confidencial


During his check, the police had found that the young man did not have in his possession the documents necessary to reside in the country.

Deportation proceedings were therefore automatically initiated.

However, the alleged murderer was never returned to Morocco.


As it is an administrative procedure (...), its implementation is not immediate

", specified the Ministry of the Interior.

No criminal record

The assailant lived in an apartment located in downtown Algeciras, not far from the two churches.

He occupied it with other roommates, also of Moroccan nationality, reports ABC Sevilla.

All attended the same mosque, not far from their place of residence.

The latter was also searched a few hours after the attack, as part of the investigation entrusted to the Madrid court of the National Audience, for possible terrorist offenses.

Read alsoIslamist terrorism: in Spain, alarming signals have multiplied in recent months

No trace of radicalization appears on his file and he was not under the surveillance of agents of the intelligence services or other police groups, “

neither in recent days nor before

”, still relates the Spanish media.

A security source confirmed to AFP that he was not on file for radicalism in Spain or France.

However, several witnesses to the attack describe suspicious behavior.

This is the case of a young Moroccan attacked by Yasine Kanjaa near the church of La Palma, a few hours before the crime, reports the national daily

El País.

As they passed each other in the street, the alleged murderer allegedly hit him in the face with his hand, while shouting in Arabic: “

You work for the 'majia'


An expression used in Morocco to say that a Muslim is against the religion he practices, details

El País


Suspicious behavior

At 6:30 p.m., thirty minutes before the start of the attack, Yasine Kanjaa was seen in the San Isidro church where he injured the priest Antonio Rodríguez.

He took the Gospel [book] and started saying it was not good

,” a witness told

El Confidencial


According to the daily, several other witnesses heard the suspect reproach people attending a religious service for professing a religion other than Islam.

The alleged murderer then left the church to return an hour later.

During this time, he wore a white tunic under his djellaba.

Upon his return, he also armed himself with a white machete whose side of the sharp blade is screen-printed with a skull.

The Spanish newspaper also explains that Yasine Kanjaa was found with a Koran on him during his arrest.

It was at 7 p.m. that the assailant attacked the priest Antonio Rodríguez, whom he seriously injured in the shoulder and neck.

He then went to "

the Nuestra Señora de La Palma church where he attacked the sexton

", details the Minister of the Interior.

Yasine Kanjaa inflicted several mortal wounds on him with his machete.

Read alsoInvestigation for “terrorism”, in Spain, after the death of a man mowed down by a car

The government of socialist Pedro Sánchez has so far refused to qualify this attack as terrorist.

For Carlos Igualada, director of the International Observatory for Studies on Terrorism (OIET), Spain today faces the risk of " one-off


" and not "

campaigns of attacks like a few years


The last attack of this type dates back to August 2017. Two attacks by a jihadist cell left 16 dead and 140 injured on the avenue des Ramblas in Barcelona and in the seaside resort of Cambrils.

They had been claimed by the Islamic State.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-26

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