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Spain: Jihadist attempts to burn down multiple churches


20 October 2016

Spain has expelled a Moroccan jihadist after he admitted a string of attacks on church buildings in Spain. Spanish police suggested that the man appeared to have become radicalised after returning home to Morocco during the summer. In early September he set fire to the ancient altarpiece in the church of Fontellas, in Navarre province. At the time local police stated that he had admitted damaging other local churches and his crime was “strictly for ideological reasons of a religious character.” They added that “he thinks he has earned a place in heaven” by doing so.

Despite a restraining order being imposed on him – which forbade him from going anywhere near Christian places of worship – he was arrested again a week later after destroying the cross on top of the church at Ribaforada and this time detained in custody until his court appearance. He has now been expelled from Spain and also banned from the EU’s Schengen zone for ten years.