Yassine Kanjaa in custody. SUR
'Lone wolf' admits deadly jihadist attack in Algeciras

'Lone wolf' admits deadly jihadist attack in Algeciras

Witness statements suggest the young Moroccan who killed Diego Valencia was radicalised in the last 'month and a half'



Friday, 3 February 2023, 11:26


A National Court judge, Joaquín Gadea, has ordered the unconditional imprisonment of the Moroccan man Yassine Kanjaa, 25, arrested for the jihadist attack in Algeciras last week in which he assassinated the sacristan Diego Valencia and injured four other people, including the parish priest Antonio Rodríguez. The defendant admitted that he had acted alone, knowingly and that he had not sworn allegiance to any terrorist group.

The judge considered that the evidence collected supports that the activity carried out by Kanjaa "can be classified as a jihadist attack", which was directed both against priests who profess the faith of the Catholic Church and against those Muslims whom Kanjaado accused of not following the precepts of the Qur'an. The magistrate has charged the detained man with the crimes of murder and injuring people for terrorist purposes, which could lead to life sentence, serving at least 25 years in prison.


Witness statements indicate that the "change" of the young Moroccan, from a town near Castillejos, happened "in the last month or month and a half", leading a life that some describe as "normal" until then. In fact, his companions in the shantytown where he lived pointed out that he used to drink alcohol and smoke hashish until he radically changed his habits, regularly listening to the Qur'an audios on his phone.

The court was told Kanjaa did not appear in police intelligence reports as a dangerous individual and had not previously been involved in any type of incident that could have encouraged a closer inspection.

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