THE SUSPECTED jihadist who killed a church assistant and injured several others in the southern Spanish city of Algeciras in January told police officers that he felt he had been ‘chosen’ by Allah and that carrying out the attacks would ‘open the doors to paradise’ for him. 

That’s according to the statements made by the suspect, Yassine Kanjaa, when he was questioned by National Police officers several days later. The comments are included in the court documents compiled ahead of the trial, to which news agency Europa Press had access.

Kanjaa also claimed that he had not been ‘indoctrinated’ ahead of the January 25 attack but that he began to feel ‘something strange’ inside him several days beforehand. He added that he felt he ‘had a deal with Satan’, according to Europa Press. 

He explained how he had argued with a man of Spanish and Moroccan origin who frequented one of the two churches where he carried out the attack, recriminating him for not practising ‘the true religion: Islam’. 

After that argument, according to the court documents, he assaulted him ‘with the intention of killing him’. 

It was then that Kanjaa returned to the church with a machete with a single objective: ‘I had to kill all of the priests who were in the church,’ he told officers. 

The church assistant who was killed by Kanjaa was Diego Valencia, aged 65 and a father of two. The suspect also seriously injured priest Antonio Rodriguez, as well as three other people. 

After his arrest, Kanjaa, a 26-year-old Moroccan national, was found to be living in Spain in an irregular situation. 

The national High Court opened a terrorism investigation into the killings.

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