April 18. 2024. 12:02

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Portugal’s Ishmaelite centre attack ruled as ‘psychotic’ breakdown, not terrorism

Tuesday’s attack on the Ishmaelite Centre was a terrorist act that resulted from a ‘psychotic breakdown by the attacker’, not an act of terrorism, the National Director of Portugal’s criminal investigation police agency, Luís Neves, said on Wednesday.

On 28 March, two people were killed due to a knife attack at the Ishmaelite Centre in Lisbon and the suspected attacker was apprehended by police.

The police agency managed, through several national and international inquiries, to map out the perpetrator’s life, finding “no single sign” that this is “a religious radicalisation,” Neves told journalists during a break at a conference in Lisbon.

Although the case is still under investigation, Neves said there should be a psychiatric investigation of the aggressor’s condition, stating that this attack may be related to “a psychotic breakdown” and that all signs of a crime motivated by religious issues or terrorism have been ruled out.

The attacker, who was hospitalised after being shot by the police, is not expected to be released for 10 days, and only then will he be able to be questioned by an examining magistrate, Neves added.

Speaking about the attacker, an Afghan refugee who had previously passed through Greece and intended to travel to Germany soon with his young children, Neves said he had adopted “a westernised way of life”, far from any act of radicalisation.

As to the possibility of the aggressor having been affected by a “psychotic breakdown” and whether this absorbs or dissipates the true motivation that led to the crime, Neves said the aggressor had become dissatisfied with people around him.

Nevers also confirmed that a warrant to search the perpetrator’s home had been requested and that the Public Prosecutor’s Office is offering “full and complete support” in this investigation.

During the conference, Neves welcomed the quick and effective intervention of the PSP police force immediately after the attack had occurred, which, in his words, prevented the number of dead and wounded from being much higher.

(Fernando Carneiro | Lusa.pt)