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CRIME

‘Dangerous’ UK paedophile arrested at Madrid school

Spanish police said Friday they had arrested a British man working as a teacher at a Madrid school, describing him as a "dangerous sexual predator" who abused 36 young children.

'Dangerous' UK paedophile arrested at Madrid school
Photo: Spanish National Police

The suspect, who also worked on occasion as a childminder, was said to have hidden his own criminal record by using a false name and forged documents.

All of the victims were between the ages of four and eight, with the suspect generating “a huge quantity of photos and videos” which he then
distributed on paedophile forums through the encrypted Tor network which links to the dark web.

“He took advantage of his status as a teacher to gain access to the victims and gain the trust of parents, and in that way he was able to generate an enormous amount of material,” Spain’s National Police said in a statement.

The investigation began early last year after police were tipped off by their Australian counterparts who detected material on Tor that appeared to be uploaded by someone in Spain.

Spanish police tried to identify the locations where the pictures and videos were taken, concluding that much of the material appeared to have been gathered at a primary school in Madrid.

Investigators honed in on a teacher who had changed his identity to hide the fact he had a criminal record in Britain and had been sentenced to two years in jail for similar acts involving images of children being sexually abused.

– ‘Urgent operation’ –

Police staged “an extremely urgent operation to ensure his arrest” in June last year.

During the search they discovered material held on 10 different devices, along with forged documents the suspect had used to enter Spain and get a job as a teacher under a false name.

In Spain, anyone working with minors must by law present a certificate proving they have no history of sexual offences — and a falsified copy certificate was found at his house alongside the means to create such a document.

The man has been charged with suspected child sex abuse offences as well as another charge relating to the discovery and disclosure of secrets, relating to the violation of privacy.

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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 SeƱora 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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