Fatal stabbings at Lisbon Muslim centre ‘not viewed as terror crime’

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Authorities in Portugal have said that the fatal stabbings of two women at an Ismaili Muslim centre in Lisbon were not being treated as a potential act of terrorism.

Investigators have found no indication that the man detained in the knife attack was involved in extremist activities, Luis Neves, the head of Portugal’s judicial police, said during a press conference.

“There is no sign whatsoever, not one, that suggests this person was radicalised,” Mr Neves said.

“This is not being viewed as a terror crime.”

Police officers at the Ismaili Muslim centre in Lisbon following the incident
Police officers at the Ismaili Muslim centre in Lisbon following the incident (Armando Franca/AP)

At least one person was wounded along with the Portuguese staff members who died.

Local Afghan community representatives had identified the suspect as an Afghan refugee who was known to have psychological problems after his wife died at a refugee camp in Greece.

The man had integrated into western life and exhibited no radical behaviour in his habits, friendships or social media communications, Mr Neves said.

Portugal Attack
Police were called to the centre on Tuesday morning (Armando Franca/AP)

Police reported on Wednesday that he was shot when he ignored an order to surrender and advanced toward the officers who responded to the Muslim centre incident.

Portuguese interior minister Jose Luis Carneiro said on Tuesday that the man had arrived in Portugal through a European Union programme that transfers asylum seekers to member countries to help relieve pressure on Mediterranean nations such as Greece and Italy.

He said the man’s wife had died in a refugee camp in Greece, leaving him to care for three children, ages four, seven and nine.

The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as the Ismailis, belong to the Shia branch of Islam.

Portugal has not recorded any significant terror attacks in recent decades, and religious violence is virtually unheard of.

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