Islamic terrorist in Jan. 25 attacks in Spain said Christian faith ‘must be eliminated’


Church of Our Lady of La Palma in Algeciras, Spain. / Credit: Faconaumanni (CC BY-SA 3.0) Wikimedia Commons

ACI Prensa Staff, Apr 28, 2023 / 10:00 am (CNA).

On Jan. 25 a young Moroccan national identified as Yassine Kanjaa carried out jihadist attacks in Algeciras, Spain, killing a sacristan and seriously wounding a priest in two different incidents.

The General Commissariat of Information, an intelligence service under Spain’s National Police, compiled two reports on the attacks dated Jan. 29 and Jan. 30. Europa Press recently gained access to them and on April 26 published details reconstructing events.

The reports state that according to Father Antonio Rodríguez Lucena, who was wounded, the attacker was not provoked: “Nobody did anything that could bother him.”

In his testimony, the priest said that Kanjaa told a parishioner that “the Christian faith is negative and must be eliminated.”

According to the reports to which Europa Press has had access, the attack began at 6:30 p.m. local time when Kanjaa entered San Isidro Church in Algecrias and began to argue with the parishioners.

After the terrorist stated his desire to eliminate the Christian faith, he “vehemently” said that “the only religion to follow is the Islamic religion,” according to the testimony of the priest who survived the attack.

The woman who opened the church daily testified that the attacker took a Bible that was there and started hitting the seating with it. She confronted the man, managed to snatch the Bible away from him, and asked him to leave.

At 7 p.m. the individual returned to the area outside the church. The faithful who were attending Mass could hear him shouting in Arabic. After Mass, Rodríguez wanted to find out what was happening.

At that moment, “the suspect, carrying a large machete in his hand, suddenly attacked the priest causing serious injuries,” the report states.

In his statement to police, the priest said that “a man dressed in black entered, who was heading towards the altar without saying anything.”

The priest waited for him at the altar with the idea of having an open way to escape. When the man got to the altar he brandished his weapon, which the priest hadn’t realized he was carrying.

When the priest tried to flee, he stumbled and felt the weapon strike him. The parishioners attended to the wound and shut the church door so the attacker couldn’t get back inside.

The weapon, according to another witness, was “a large blue machete.” Others described it as a “knife” or “a kind of katana,” a curved Japanese sword.

After this attack, Kanjaa went to the Virgin of La Palma church located about 650 feet away. According to a witness, along the way he ran into a Moroccan passerby, whom without saying a word he punched in the face, breaking his glasses. He then struck him twice more and accused him of practicing the wrong religion.

When he got to the Virgin of La Palma church, the attacker saw the sacristan, Diego Valencia, leaving through a back door of the church.

According to the police, Kanjaa struck him with several initial blows with his weapon. The sacristan tried to flee but the attacker caught up with him in Plaza Alta, threw him to the ground, gripped the katana with both hands and “raising his gaze to the sky and shouting a few words in Arabic, among which was heard ‘Allah,’ dealt him one last fatal blow.”

According to a witness, Valencia tried to defend himself with a chair and he asked for the police to be called. Shortly afterwards the attacker was arrested without offering any resistance.

The Spanish Bishops’ Conference condemned the attacks and expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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1 Comment

  1. Undoubtedly we live in a fallen world. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the God of the Bible) says not to murder.
    We are encouraged to respect our neighbours and live as peacefully as we are able.

    1 John 2:10-11 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

    James 3:9-10 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

    James 3:5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

    Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

    Perhaps someone from the Islamic faith would like to discuss matters. God is truth and we can trust Him completely.
    To trust one, one must get to know the other. To know God is to trust Him.

    John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

    John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

    John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

    A cordial invitation is extended to one who would like to learn of the God of the Bible.

    God’s richest blessings.

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