Amsterdam station stabbing: police say focus is on a terrorist motive

Police badge and radio.
Police badge and radio.

The 19-year-old Afghan who stabbed two American tourists in Amsterdam’s main railway station on Friday appeared to have had a terrorist motive, city officials said in a statement on Saturday evening.

The man, who was shot by police after he attacked the two tourists in the western tunnel under the station, made the claim during his first interview with the police, the statement said. The man, named as Jawed S, has a German residency permit. He is being treated in hospital.

His two victims appear to have been chosen at random, police said. Both are being treated in hospital but their injuries are not said to be life threatening.

The tourists were waiting at the NS service counter in the tunnel when they were attacked. According to broadcaster NOS, police say a ‘very large knife’ was involved.


The German authorities have now searched his home in Germany and taken away ‘computers and phones’. The man will appear in court for a remand hearing on Monday.

Amsterdam officials, the public prosecution department and police have not upped security measures as a result of the attack. ‘The way the police acted shows that Amsterdam is prepared for this sort of incident,’ the statement said.

Prime minister Mark Rutte has praised the actions of both the police and NS personnel. ‘This cowardly deed shows how important it is to be and to remain alert,’ he said.

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