Court identifies Turku stabbing suspect


Court identifies Turku stabbing suspect

The stabbing is being probed as the country's first-ever terror attack.


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Published: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 8:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Aug 2017, 2:14 AM

Court documents on Monday identified the suspect in last week's stabbing spree in a Finnish city, which is being probed as the country's first-ever terror attack, as 18-year-old Abderrahman Mechkah.
Police have previously described the suspect as an asylum seeker from Morocco who deliberately targeted women in the attack at a market square in the southwestern port of Turku on Friday, which left two people dead and eight injured.
The motive for the attack was still not known. The Finnish intelligence agency SUPO said meanwhile that police authorities in southwestern Finland had received a tip early this year that Mechkah "had been radicalised and showed interest in extremist ideologies."
The tip, which had been forwarded to the SUPO, "contained no information about any threat of an attack."
Mechkah, whom police shot in the thigh while arresting him minutes after the rampage, is to appear before the Turku court on Tuesday via video link from hospital, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said. His court appearance had initially been scheduled for Monday. Police will ask the court to remand him in custody on suspicion of two murders and eight attempted murders "with terrorist intent".
Investigators said on Sunday that they had interrogated the suspect for the first time, but disclosed no information about the outcome.
Police will also request the detention of four other Moroccan citizens who were arrested in an overnight raid on a Turku apartment building and refugee housing centre just hours after the attack. "They are suspected of participation in the murders and attempted murders committed with a terrorist intent. They deny any involvement in the offences," the NBI said. Police said earlier that the suspect was an asylum seeker who arrived in Finland in early 2016.
The attack occurred just after 4pm on Friday, with police shooting the knife-wielding suspect minutes later.
The two people who died were both Finnish women, born in 1951 and 1986.
Six of the injured were also women, while two men were injured trying to fend off the attacker.
Among the injured were an Italian, a Swede and a Briton.

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