Read in Catalan

A terrorist action and a terrorism investigation. A Spanish criminal court, the National Audience, is proceeding with its terrorism-focussed approach in the case of the axe attack on property carried out at Easter at the Magic shopping mall in the Catalan city of Badalona, near Barcelona. The prosecutor of this special court which deals with terrorism investigations, Raquel de Miguel Morante, has issued a report in favour of the National Audience investigating this case after an ordinary Badalona court transferred the case to a higher level. The investigations will now have to clarify the facts and reconstruct the life of the suspect Hamza Warris before he arrival in Catalonia - he had spent less than three months here before the attack - to find out what kind of interest he had in the attack he carried out.

On Wednesday, March 27th, in the middle of Holy Week, Warris saw on television images of attacks by Israel against Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, and, says the prosecutor, he decided to take revenge. He left the house where he was living with other people of Pakistani origin like himself, and with an axe in his hand, went to the Magic mall. The security camera evidence shows that he was outside the McDonald's restaurant for more than twenty minutes, until he decided to enter, with a Palestinian scarf around his neck, and started delivering axe-blows against the windows, until he was subdued by an off-duty Mossos d'Esquadra police officer and martial arts expert, who happened to be having a drink with some friends in the area. The CCTV images show how the man swings the axe against the restaurant windows, and although there were several people present during the attack, including a group of children having a party, he did not approach them.

He said he did it to "avenge Gaza"

When arrested by the off-duty Mossos d'Esquadra agent and security guards, he explained to them - he did not speak Catalan or Spanish - that he had done it to avenge Gaza, after the images he had seen on television of the Israeli attacks. It was following this admission that the Mossos d'Esquadra's anti-terrorism specialists took over the case. A search was made of his residence, where nothing significant was found. However, information relating to the jihadist movement was later found on his mobile phone, which was intercepted and is pending full analysis.

Before the attack the man left a recorded message saying goodbye to his relatives in Pakistan, explaining that he might not see them again, a fact that judge Joaquín Gadea of the National Audience, who has assumed the case, equates with the actions of "lone wolf" terrorists before committing attacks of this type. The report by the prosecutor, who accepts the thesis of the Catalan police and Badalona court, that it could have been a lone-wolf terrorist attack, requests that the central court in Madrid investigate the case.