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News > Portugal

Portugal: Muslim Center Attack Was Not a Terrorist Act

  • Forensics police enter the Ismaili Center in Lisbon, Portugal, March 28, 2023. ​​​​​​​

    Forensics police enter the Ismaili Center in Lisbon, Portugal, March 28, 2023. ​​​​​​​ | Photo: Twitter/ @realTuckFrumper

Published 29 March 2023

"A psychotic break" is the probable cause that had led to the death of two women who worked at a humanitarian assistance center.

Luis Neves, director of the Portuguese Judiciary Police (PJ), said there is no indication that Tuesday's stabbings at the Ismaili Muslim Center in Lisbon had a terrorist motive.


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"A psychotic break" was the probable cause that had led to the stabbings and death of two women, aged 24 and 49, who worked at the center providing humanitarian assistance.

"All signs of a religiously motivated crime have been removed. We are talking about the practice of two qualified homicides, in addition to the attempt of a third," Neves said, adding that several national and international investigations had already been carried out, but these did not point to the suspected attacker's "religious radicalization."

In addition to speaking with the suspect, inspectors will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if he had any problematic relationships with the victims.

The suspect, identified as Abdul Bashir, is in hospital after being shot by the police. He will face questioning by the investigating judge on the case in a few days.

The suspect had been in Portugal for about a year with his three minor children, said Jose Luis Carneiro, minister of internal administration, adding that "he was a citizen benefiting from the status of international protection."

The suspect led a "quite quiet" life, and benefited from the support of the Ismaili Muslim Center, from which he received food and assistance with his children. He said that there were "no signs that justified security warnings."

On Thusday, an Afghan man armed with a large knife attacked the Ismaili Muslim Center in Lisbon, killing two people. Police managed to immobilize the attacker with a shot to the leg, before transporting him to hospital. Other people also sustained injuries in the attack.

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