Faculty head appeals for calm in wake of ‘terrorist arrest’

Luís Carriço, the head of the science faculty at Lisbon University has called for calm in the wake of yesterday’s media storm about a ‘terrorist arrest’ in the nick of time (click here).

“We should continue with all activities”, he has told journalists. There is no reason, certainly now, for further histrionics.

But yesterday, the media noise over the arrest of an 18-year-old ‘oddball’ student – who allegedly had been planning to “kill as many people as possible” today (Friday) at the faculty – was deafening.

João R, born in Batalha (Leiria) but living in Olivais, was described as ‘mentally disturbed’, introverted, hooked on video games, and with a ‘morbid fascination’ for killing sprees more commonly witnessed on school and college campuses of America.

Today this troubled young man, believed only to be 18-years-old, has faced his first round of judicial questioning to be remanded in preventive custody, as life at the Faculty of Sciences will be going on as normal.

“The Faculty of Sciences has enormous confidence in the authorities”, Luís Carrico has said. “The security of our pupils and members of staff was never at risk. We cannot base ourselves on conspiracy theories. We should, for this reason, with serenity, continue all activities. I want to transmit a message of tranquility. Cancelling exams would be an enormous imprudence”.

Any students feeling the need for psychological support will be offered it, the university boss added, but otherwise, “life in sciences continues, and will continue in tranquility”.

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