Finland Terror Trial: Attacker at ‘War Against Women’, Stabbed Them to ‘Strengthen the Islamic Kingdom’

Defendant Moroccan Abderrahman Bouanane waits for the start of his trial in prison in Turku, Finland on April 9, 2018. Bouanane is accused of two murders and 8 murder attempts, with terrorist intent, when he committed the knife attack in Turku on August 18, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Lehtikuva …
ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO/AFP/Getty

A rejected asylum seeker who targetted women in a stabbing attack said he was at “war against women” and committed the attack to “strengthen the Islamic kingdom”.

Moroccan Abderrahman Bouanane, 23, told the district court on Wednesday that he had justified his attack because of Western nations’ military action against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, Helsingin Sanomat reports.

The court heard that the defendant was inspired to attack the eight women and two men with a knife in the southwestern Finnish city of Turku on August 18th, 2017, by a 23-year-old Uzbek-based Turkish man he met at the mosque.

The Turk, who is currently the subject of an international search, allegedly told Bouanane that Finland was guilty of causing the instability in Syria and sent 100 soldiers to fight there. Finland has sent 100 trainers to Iraq since 2015.

“It gave me the position that I have the right to kill Finns,” he told the court in the ongoing trial.

The court also heard that during police interrogation, Bouanane said his purpose for the attack was “to strengthen the Islamic kingdom… I wanted the Islamic kingdom is strong.”

The Moroccan is on trial on charges of murder and attempted murder “with terrorist intent” in the first terror-related attack in the country’s history.

The day prior, on Tuesday, Bouanane admitted that he had specifically targetted women.

The accused, who arrived in Finland in 2016, had told police that originally his intention was to attack a soldier. But he changed his plans, believing that it was equally justified to attack civilian women.

“My target was to hit women, not men … I was in war against women,” he said.

Eight of the ten victims were women, and two died of their wounds. The two men were not targetted directly by the defendant, but he stabbed them as they tried to save the women, including Hassan Zubier who arrived in court in a wheelchair when the trial began last week.

Bouanane said that his initial goal was to kill the two women Jehovah’s Witnesses who were proselytising in the town centre. One of them was the first victim of the stabbing attack.

The defendant said she was selected due to her behaviour and Christian activity, saying that her smiling irritated him.

“They annoyed me sexually. The way they smiled at me provoked some kind of emotions inside me that are embarrassing,” he said.

“I honestly felt like I was controlled remotely… The idea was to keep attacking as long as a head falls,” the failed asylum seeker said. He only stopped stabbing random people after police shot him in the leg.

Ylen Turku Prison told the Finnish Broadcasting Company that Bouanane had rioted in his cell Monday and Tuesday night, breaking his television and other furniture.

During the trial he has repeatedly laughed, denounced his victims, and refused to obey the orders of the judge, including on Wednesday afternoon refusing to sit down in his chair, claiming that “Every new thing I use brings me to hell.”

Psychiatrist Gustav Schulman assessed that his “psychological violence against the victims and the entire Finnish people” during the trial act as a continuation of his attack.

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