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Yassine Kanjaa. R.C.
Algeciras jihadist's mental faculties were 'severely affected' when he attacked, report claims

Algeciras jihadist's mental faculties were 'severely affected' when he attacked, report claims

Crime ·

Yassin Kanjaa, who carried out the attack in January in which the sacristan Diego Valencia was killed, suffers from psychosis and at the time had no control over his behaviour, according to two prison doctors

Mateo Balín

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

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Two doctors at a Seville prison have concluded that the Moroccan man Yassin Kanjaa, who carried out a jihadist attack last January in Algeciras, in which the sacristan Diego Valencia was killed, suffers from psychosis “with probable schizophrenic filiation" and that at the time of the attack he had no control over his behaviour.

According to legal sources, the doctors’ report has been sent to the High Court and supports the thesis of the first provisional report by the experts of the Madrid court, dated 20 February. That report also determined that Kanjaa, 25, suffered from a mental problem "compatible with a delusional disorder".

In that review, the accused told the psychiatrists that in prison he was "surrounded by demons", and said he did not regret having stabbed to death the 65-year-old sacristan of the Church of Our Lady of Palma in Algeciras.

Kanjaa's defense focuses its strategy on seeking the complete exoneration of their client for serious personality disorder and that the case be transferred from the High Court, competent to investigate crimes of terrorism, to an ordinary court in Algeciras. In short, the express radicalisation of Kanjaa was not so much due to the consumption of jihadist propaganda as to the alienation he suffers, according to his defence.

However, Judge Gadea has already taken a position on this matter in an order based on the report prepared by the judicial police. "There does not have to be a direct link between the actor and a member of the organisation. It is he who decides the extent of his commitment, the duration of the process and who takes the final decision to commit an attack," he stated in one of his resolutions to determine that the suspect was fully aware of his actions.

This decision was appealed before the Supreme Court, which is pending a decision on the competence of the court to continue investigating the case.

Behavior was "normal" until a month before attack

Yassine Kanjaa was born in October 1997 in the small Moroccan town of Oued el Marsa, near Ceuta. Until his arrest, he had been living for months in a substandard housing in Calle Ruiz Tagle in Algeciras, very close to the centre and barely 90 metres from the church where he committed the attack. He shared a house with four other people of North African origin. When they were interrogated, both by the police and by the judge, they confirmed that Kanjaa's behavior was "normal" until a little more than a month before the attack.

His flatmates pointed out that the detainee used to drink alcohol and smoke hashish, but then he began to listen assiduously to verses from the Koran through his mobile phone and that he reproached them for their lifestyle.

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