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CRIME

Ham-fisted thief makes meal of robbery

Police have arrested a thief in Bilbao who turned violent after his attempt to steal 16 packets of ham was thwarted by security guards.

Ham-fisted thief makes meal of robbery
Ham has a special place on Spanish dining tables. Photo: Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño

The 35-year-old man was detained after he tried to slip out of a Bilbao supermarket with 16 packets of ham about his person.

When security staff challenged him, the culinarily-challenged thief then turned violent, 20 Minutos reported on Monday.

The Basque Department of Security said the incident took place at half past four on Saturday afternoon.

A cop on foot patrol saw the hungry criminal sprinting across Bilbao's Plaza Zabalburu with a security guard in hot pursuit.

The officer then rushed to intercept the ham-loving criminal at which point another nearby policeman joined the chase.

Once caught, the man was transferred to a local police station.

Spanish media did not report on what food the thief could expect to receive while being held.

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CRIME

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The Moroccan suspect held in connection with a machete attack on two Spanish churches, killing a verger and badly injuring a priest, will undergo psychiatric testing, a court said Tuesday.

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The case is being handled by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, with the judge in charge asking that “two doctors conduct a psychiatric evaluation of the suspect”.

The suspect, 25-year-old Yassine Kanjaa, was arrested at the scene after the attacks on two churches in the southern town of Algeciras last week.

The Audiencia Nacional said the psychiatric evaluation, which will be carried out by doctors from the court’s forensic department, would provide “information about the legal responsibility” of the “presumed jihadist”.

Prosecutors have opened a terror probe and, on Monday, the court remanded the suspect in custody without bail on murder and terrorism charges.

During the deadly incident on January 26th, the suspect entered San Isidro church and attacked its priest with a machete, leaving him seriously wounded before entering Nuestra Señora de La Palma.

There he attacked the verger and chased him out of the church where he killed him.

‘Targeted priests and infidels’

Court details released on Monday said the attacker had also injured three other people, including another Moroccan man whom he “considered an infidel” because he had renounced his faith.

It said Kanjaa’s actions could be “qualified as a jihadist attack directed at both priests who profess the Catholic faith, and Muslims who, according to the suspect, don’t follow the Koran”.

The court said the suspect fits the profile of a “self-indoctrinated terrorist who acts individually without direct ties to a specific terror group but operates in the name of jihadist philosophy”.

Last week, Spain’s left-wing government refused to rule out mental illness and the police have described him as “unstable”.

The court said Kanjaa became indoctrinated “rapidly” within the space of up to six weeks, citing witnesses as telling police that just before that, he “was drinking alcohol and smoking hashish”. Then he suddenly started listening “regularly to the Koran on his mobile phone”.

One of Kanjaa’s neighbours told AFP something similar on Friday, saying he had changed radically six weeks ago, growing a beard and wearing a long robe.

Officials have said Kanjaa was served with a deportation order last June but had no prior convictions and was not under surveillance.

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