Police Investigate Jihadi Motive Behind Christmas Day Machete Attack
Police in the eastern Spanish city of Castellón de la Plana are investigating a possible radical Islamic motive behind a thwarted machete attack on Christmas day by a Moroccan national.
Forty-five-year-old Mohamed Q., who has legal residency in Spain, had yelled “Allahu Akbar, I will kill you” and threatened random people while walking through a local Christmas street event, armed with the 14-inch blade.
Police arrived at the scene at around 4 pm. When they confronted the knifeman, the migrant charged at them. The officers were able to subdue and arrest the suspect, sustaining only minor bruising. As well as the machete, the Moroccan was also carrying a knife, El País reports.
Investigators found two mobile phones on the suspect, which are being analysed. They also revealed that the 45-year-old has a criminal history relating to the sexual abuse of a minor and he was also found to be related to a “Foreign Terrorist Fighter” by the name of Mhammed Q., who had travelled to Syria to fight for Islamic State.
According to El País, Turkish authorities arrested Mhammed Q., the cousin of the man in Spanish custody, in Istanbul in January after he attempted to return to Europe. He was later deported to Morocco where he is imprisoned.
Meanwhile, a judge at the Santiago Pedraz National Court charged Mohamed Q. with uttering terroristic threats. In 2020, 37 radical Islamic jihadists have been arrested in Spain, according to the country’s Interior Ministry.
The thwarted attack comes after a number of similar incidents across several European countries this year such as the Dresden knife attack in October that saw a Syrian migrant stab two people, killing one of the victims.
That same month saw the Nice church attacks in which a Tunisian illegal immigrant killed three people, one of whom was nearly beheaded.
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