The armed attacker, who is said to have killed an acolyte and injured four others in southern Spain, was under police surveillance for radicalization. This was confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior in Madrid on request. Spanish media such as the newspaper “” had previously reported on it.

At first it was said that the man was not known to the police. According to the ministry, the 25-year-old Moroccan had been in Spain illegally and should have been deported. According to media reports, the public prosecutor’s office at the National Court of Justice did not rule out a terrorist background to the attack by the lone perpetrator.

The mayor ordered a day of mourning

The man broke into the San Isidro church on Wednesday evening shouting “for Allah” and urged people to profess Islam, as “” reported, citing eyewitnesses. He seriously injured the priest who was present with the machete. Then he ran to a second church nearby, where he attacked the altar boy and killed him in front of the La Palma church. Three other people were injured when they opposed the perpetrator. The man tried to break into a third church, but the door was locked. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested by the police.

Algeciras Mayor José Ignacio Landaluce said he was shocked by the incident and ordered a day of mourning in the city of around 120,000 near the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The city’s Muslim community strongly condemned the attack. Spain’s Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska wanted to cancel his participation in Stockholm in deliberations of EU interior ministers on returning migrants to their home countries in order to travel to Algeciras, the Europa Press news agency reported.