Moroccan jihadist who committed Spain’s first terror attack on Catholic church described as ‘mentally unbalanced’


A 25-year-old Moroccan jihadist has been described as ‘mentally unbalanced’ after he killed a church sexton and stabbed a priest in the Cadiz city of Algeciras.


Yasine Kanjaa, the 25-year-old Moroccan jihadist who yesterday, Wednesday, January 25, carried out the first-ever terror attack against the Catholic church in Spain has today, Thursday 26, been described as ‘mentally unbalanced’.

Using a machete, the young man killed a sexton and injured a priest in two churches in the Cadiz city of Algeciras. According to, following his arrest, after its initial enquiries, judge Joaquin Gadea from the National Court decided to continue the matter as a case of suspected terrorism. Kanjaa was described as ‘mentally unbalanced’.

Officers from the General Information Commission of the National Police proceeded to search Kanjaa’s home after he was arrested. There they also reportedly questioned his two roommates, although they were not arrested. Documentation and electronic devices were subsequently removed from the property.

Investigation sources of the news outlet maintained that Yasine Kanjaa will be investigated as an alleged jihadist, who acted alone. The first data they will handle is that he could suffer from some form of mental imbalance.

The possible rapid process of radicalisation that he experienced is also on the table of the investigators. Kanjaa was not on any ‘watchlist’: “Neither in the last days nor before”, sources from the Ministry of the Interior specified. Also, he does not have a criminal record in Spain or in other allied countries.

An extension of the detention to continue with the investigations in Algeciras before handing over the young Moroccan before the judge has been requested by the National Police. It was reported by Europa Press that Kanjaa was living in Spain in an irregular situation and was pending deportation to Morocco.

Jose Ignacio Landaluce, the mayor of Algeciras, told RNE: “It seems that he arrived a few months ago, in the summer. It always worries us that there could be radicalisation in every way. Within the tragedy, let’s hope he is crazy”.

Antonio Rodriguez, the 74-year-old Salesian priest stabbed by the detainee is reported to be out of danger after undergoing surgery, according to


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at

Show comments

Recent Posts

  • Spain

Guardia Civil warns of danger posed to humans and dogs by processionary caterpillars at this time of year

This is the time of year when processionary caterpillars start coming down from their nests,…

2 hours ago
  • World News

Finland named the ‘happiest country in the world’ for the sixth consecutive year

For the sixth consecutive year, Finland was named the 'happiest country in the world' in…

3 hours ago
  • Ukraine crisis

Russian diplomat Vasily Nebenzya insists Ukrainian children will be returned once it is safe to do so

Ukrainian children removed from the conflict zone will be returned once it is safe to…

4 hours ago
  • World News

Russian Investigative Committee opens a case against prosecutor and judges of the ICC in The Hague

A criminal case was opened against the prosecutor and judges of the Hague's International Criminal…

4 hours ago
  • World News

Vladimir Putin insists Russia will send free grain to African countries

If Moscow decides not to extend the Black Sea grain deal after 60 days then…

5 hours ago
  • EU News

Hungary blocks EU application to issue joint statement on ICC warrant for Vladimir Putin’s arrest

An application to issue a joint EU statement on the ICC warrant for Vladimir Putin's…

5 hours ago