Amsterdam attack suspect had 'terrorist motive'

The stabbings occurred on Aug 31, 2018, at Central Station in downtown Amsterdam, when a man walked into a group of people.
The stabbings occurred on Aug 31, 2018, at Central Station in downtown Amsterdam, when a man walked into a group of people. PHOTO: REUTERS

AMSTERDAM • The Dutch authorities said that the suspect in a double stabbing at a busy railway station in Amsterdam had "a terrorist motive", while the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands identified the two people injured as American citizens.

The stabbings occurred shortly after noon local time last Friday at Central Station in downtown Amsterdam, when a man walked into a group of people. The man was later shot by police.

In a statement last Saturday, Ambassador Pete Hoekstra said that the Americans had been visiting the country when the attack happened and that the embassy had been in touch with their families. He did not identify the two victims.

"We wish them a speedy recovery and are working closely with the city of Amsterdam to provide assistance to them and their families," the statement said.

Police in Amsterdam said officers had shot and detained a 19-year-old Afghan man over the stabbing. He was identified last Saturday only as Jawad S., in line with Dutch privacy laws, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

His initial statements to police pointed to an extremist motive, officials said in a statement, according to local media reports.

"The victims were not chosen deliberately or with a clear reason," Amsterdam authorities said, according to the AP.

 
 

Dutch authorities also asked the police in Germany to carry out a search of the suspect's home there, according to the city government. He is expected to appear before a magistrate today.

The suspect has a German residence permit and police were in contact with the authorities there to find out about his background.

The man was being treated last Friday at a hospital for gunshot wounds and questioned while under guard, Amsterdam City Hall said. Those stabbed were also being treated in a hospital. Their injuries were serious but not life threatening, according to the city's statement.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2018, with the headline 'Amsterdam attack suspect had 'terrorist motive''. Print Edition | Subscribe