Man suspected of ‘terrorist motive’ in stabbing of American tourists in Amsterdam acted alone: Police
iStock/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM) — A 19-year-old Afghan man who allegedly stabbed two American tourists in Amsterdam’s bustling, main train station is believed to have acted alone, authorities said.
The suspect, identified only as Jawed S., is expected to make his first appearance in court on Monday as police probe whether a “terrorist motive” was behind the apparently unprovoked attack Friday, officials said.
No group has claimed involvement in the attack.
The suspect allegedly stabbed the two victims with a large knife around noon Friday in Amsterdam’s busy Central Station, through which approximately 250,000 people travel daily. He was shot and wounded by police immediately afterward.
The victims, whose names have not been released, are recovering in a hospital from what police said were serious but not life-threatening injuries. The U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, said they are American tourists.
Jawed S., an Afghan citizen, had been seeking asylum in Germany, which he applied for in 2015, German Federal Police officials told ABC News. He had a temporary German residence permit and was in the process of obtaining a permanent one, officials said.
Investigators tracing the suspect’s movements in Germany have found no records that he was on the radar of police there before the attack, a German Federal Police official told ABC News on Monday.
Investigators interrogated the suspect on Sunday.
“Based on the suspect’s first statements, he had a terrorist motive,” the city administration of Amsterdam said in a statement.
Police raided the suspect’s apartment in Germany on Saturday and seized several electronic devices that will be transferred to the Netherlands for further investigation, authorities said.
The suspect is scheduled to appear at a closed court hearing Monday before an investigative judge, police and prosecution officials told ABC News. He is not expected to enter a plea, they said.
“In general, the investigative judge might decide to leave the suspect in custody for the next two weeks, so that the investigation continues,” Justine Osbroek, Dutch prosecutor in Amsterdam, told ABC News. “Two weeks later, the court will decide whether to extend the detention for 30, 60 or 90 days.”
After the stabbing incident Friday, police quickly responded and shot the suspect in the lower body, officials said. Photos showed a man after he was shot lying on the floor of the train station as two police officers stood nearby with their guns pointed at him.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said it “extends its concern and support” for the two victims.
“We ask that all parties respect the privacy of the victims and their families at this difficult time,” Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman for the state department, said in a statement.
She added that Dutch authorities are “focused on a terrorist motive for this unprovoked, horrifying attack.”
Holland has been considered a target since attacks by Islamic extremists in France, Belgium, England and Germany, and because the country supports military operations against ISIS in the Middle East.
Nauert, who praised Dutch authorities for their “courageous efforts,” said in the statement that the United States “stands with our Dutch allies and others in our common fight against terrorism in all forms.”
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