Crazed teen who went on rampage during suspected terror attack in Co Louth had religious artefacts at his boltholelove car

A CRAZED teen who went on the rampage during a suspected terror attack in Co Louth yesterday had religious artefacts at his bolthole.

The documents were seized when officers swooped on the 18-year-old’s squat in Dundalk yesterday — located near the street where he murdered innocent Japanese man Yosuke Sasaki on his way to work.

Crazed teen who went on rampage during suspected terror attack in Co Louth had religious artefacts at his boltholelove car

Collins Photo Agency

Gardai in Dundalk following yesterday’s attacks

And the Irish Sun can reveal gardai believe the suspect, originally from Egypt, deliberately plunged a knife into the back of his 24-year-old victim in Avenue Road because he was wearing headphones and could not hear his attacker creep up behind him.

Innocent Yosuke — who had been living in Ireland for a year — was found lying in a pool of blood with a knife in his back at 9am yesterday morning. Gardai arrived at the scene minutes later.

The teen maniac — who was also armed with a wooden pole and two other knives — then targeted another passer-by in the Coes Road area around 9.32am. The local man was slashed before the thug ran off. His injuries are not life-threatening.

Eight minutes later, another innocent man was targeted in the Seatown Place area of the town when he was hit with the pole. His injuries are also not life-threatening.

Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan briefs media at Dundalk Garda station on murder in Louth

The thug, who arrived in Ireland from the UK via Belfast, was caught a short time later at the Inner Relief Road area when he was approached by unarmed ­uniformed gardai. The officers were also backed up by local detectives and managed to disarm the killer.

Officers from the Armed Support Unit also arrived at the scene before the suspect was taken to Dundalk Garda station for ­questioning.

He was last night being quizzed on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

The suspect had met uniformed ­officers in Dundalk on New Year’s Day but he had no ID or travel documents.

Crazed teen who went on rampage during suspected terror attack in Co Louth had religious artefacts at his boltholelove car

Ciara Wilkinson

The section of path where a second person was stabbed

He was interviewed by Garda National Immigration Bureau officers based in Dundalk, providing them with a name but failed to produce evidence. Gardai are convinced they have established his ID.

The murder victim’s family in Japan have been informed but they are still trying to track other ­relatives.

The Irish Sun can also reveal the suspect was living in the UK but travelled by boat to Belfast after failing in an asylum bid, later spent time in a Direct Provision Centre in Dublin before travelling to Dundalk on New Year’s Day.

Gardai confirmed yesterday they are investigating if the incident is terrorist related and are treating the attacks as “unprovoked and random”. But they’re also trying to establish if the suspect was suffering from psychological issues.

As part of the probe, gardai are trying to find out when he entered the country.

Scene where Japanese man stabbed to death in Dundalk

Gardai confirmed yesterday that they had met with the accused on New Year’s Day over his immigration status here.

The murder investigation is being run by detectives from Dundalk Garda Station under the command of Chief Supt Christy Mangan and Supt Gerry Curley.

The senior officer said yesterday: “A terror attack is a line of inquiry, it’s certainly a line that we would look at. We will endeavour to establish the suspect’s background, who they are, where they’ve come from and why are they here. We’re very interested to know why was he in Dundalk. Why would he come here, what’s the reason, what’s the connection?”

Gardai say they have yet to establish a motive for the attack as the international investigation continues.

Crazed teen who went on rampage during suspected terror attack in Co Louth had religious artefacts at his boltholelove car

Ciara Wilkinson

Garda Dog Unit on Avenue Road yesterday

Chief Supt Mangan added: “At this present time we haven’t established a motive for the murder or for the two subsequent attacks.

“We are carrying out a very extensive investigation to determine what exactly took place and why it took place.

“We have been assisted by national units and also by local units. We would appeal to members of the public who were in the area. It was shortly before 9am in the morning. It would have been a
quite busy area at that time.

“We are appealing to people who were going about their normal business to contact us.

Crazed teen who went on rampage during suspected terror attack in Co Louth had religious artefacts at his boltholelove car

The dead man’s body is removed by forensics

“We have recovered one weapon at the moment. We are carrying out a number of searches in the local area. We were there at the scene within seven minutes.”

Chief Supt Mangan confirmed that the 18-year-old Egyptian suspect had been in contact with gardai from the Immigration Section on New Year’s Day in relation to a possible application for residency.

The top cop said there was no indication then of any involvement on his part in criminality.

He added: “We would be very interested to know how the suspect came into the jurisdiction, how long were they here, who they were associated with and we would certainly be appealing to people who knew him while he was here.

Crazed teen who went on rampage during suspected terror attack in Co Louth had religious artefacts at his boltholelove car

Crispin Rodwell - The Sun Dublin

Chief Supt Christy Mangan

“I’m not in a position to make any comment about the state of mind of the suspect.

“We will ask and answer why the attacks took place, why an innocent bystander, going about their work, would be attacked on a morning in Dundalk slightly before 9 o’clock.

“We had a considerable number of gardai in the area. A garda observed this person acting in very erratic manner. He stood back, kept the person under observation at close distance and called for ­assistance. That is the proper way to deal with an incident. Very highly commendable for what he (the garda) did.”

Speaking about the victim, Chief Supt Mangan said: “It is very, very hard for the family to have someone working over here and get murdered in a foreign country.”

He said there were no connections between those attacked and attacker.

He said: “It would appear to be random and unprovoked but we would have to conduct a full investigation. There is obviously an international dimension.

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“We will talk to people in order to establish where this person came from and how he got to this jurisdiction. We are satisfied he was on his own. There is no indication any other person was assisting him.”

It’s understood the suspect travelled to Ireland recently from England. Officers are also trying to establish if he had spent time in war-torn Syria.

We also understand the suspect wasn’t on a watchlist of Jihadi suspects and supporters living in Ireland.