Spanish police raided the house of a Moroccan national who was wanted for machete attacks on two churches in Algeciras that left a priest and a church worker seriously hurt.
While officers are still investigating the motive for the attack on by officers, a judge at the National Court is looking into it as a possible act terrorist.
Yassine Kanjaa (25-year-old) is suspected to be the suspect.
According to Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Spanish interior minister, police searched his house to “determine nature, terrorist, or otherwise” of the attack.
According to the interior ministry, the suspect is Moroccan and has no criminal history in Spain or other countries.
The suspect was also under deportation orders since June 2013 due to his illegal migrant status in Spain.
Kanjaa was previously detained in neighboring Gibraltar in August 2019. He attempted to “come onshore from a jetski without the required documentation”, authorities stated. He was deported a few days later.
The attacks of Wednesday night have shaken the multi-cultural city near the southern tip in Spain.
Witnesses claim that the second incident saw the attacker leaping on the altar of Church of Nuestra Senora de La Palma wielding an axe.
The attacker then attacked a priest who was inside the church preparing Mass and chased him to a square, before he killed him.
A priest was injured at San Isidro, which is just minutes from Nuestra Senora de La Palma.
Antonio Rodriguez, the priest who was injured, is now safe and well.
Diego Valencia was identified by the Algeciras town hall as the deceased church worker.
Manolo Gonzaga, another man who was with Mr Valencia at the church said that the suspect climbed onto the altar and Mr Valencia emerged “and asked what was happening”.
Two small churches with whitewashed walls were decorated with candles and flowers on Thursday. Flags were flown at half-mast by Algeciras.
The community observed a minute of silence and a vigil, which included a large contingent of Moroccan residents.
To receive condolences from minister Mr Grande Marlaska and other concerned residents, the victim’s family gathered at Nuestra Senora De La Palma.
Algeciras, a port city in the cosmopolitan center of Algeciras, is the first port of entry for many boats and ferry from North Africa. This has prompted government debates about irregular migration.
The Islamic Commission of Spain representing Muslims in Spain condemned the “abominable and murderous act” in “a sacred place for our Catholic brothers in Algeciras”.