In May, the man was arrested for possession of a knife and damage to a car. The case went to court but he was not convicted. This, the Daily Mail reports, was "due to a mental health report given to the court." The Times reported that "In June the Algerian man appeared before the District Court in Dublin charged with possessing a knife and criminal damage to a car after an incident in May. It is understood that the evidence was heard but the judge made no order. A no-order decision is usually made when a case involves serious mental health problems."
According to The Times, the suspect was the "subject of a deportation order." The man was also arrested in 2003, and is in his 50s.
"However, after a judicial review in the High Court his deportation order was revoked. Sources said in 2008 the Department of Justice granted the man leave to stay in Ireland," the Times reported. "One said: 'He was due to be deported 20 years ago, but fought the order for five years. He eventually obtained an Irish passport. He is a naturalised Irish citizen.'"
A source familiar with the current stabbing incident said that "Gardaí are at the very start of the investigation here so they are looking into his background as well as all the incidents he was involved in before this attack happened. There’s a real possibility that this was an incident related to a mental health episode, due to his history, but that’s not like they’re trying to get him off the hook."
"Every proper procedure is being done and they are going to have to wait until he is well enough physically before they interview him," they continued. "Gardaí will check if he had any links to Islamic extremism but at this moment in time it’s less of a possibility and it’s more likely this was a mental health incident."
The suspect had reportedly been living in Dublin City Council hostel accommodations prior to undertaking the stabbing spree. His home has been searched by police and it is believed that phones and other items were taken by police as evidence.
The man is under guard in a hospital where he is recovering from injuries he sustained when another man tried to stop him from continuing his rampage. He is expected to be arrested and questioned once he is well enough.
A source told the Daily Mail that "This man came to Ireland in around 2003. In recent times, he’s come to the attention of the gardaí. This was over having a knife on him and him causing damage to a car."
"It is not accurate to say that this man was constantly causing trouble but he was known to officers in the area since those incidents in May. There is proper security in the hospital where he is being kept also as there is a real fear that he could be attacked by groups of people if they found out where he is," the source continued.