Tuesday 10 December 2019

Station attacker came deliberately to NL, had been spotted by police

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Afghan national who stabbed two American tourists in Amsterdam’s central station on Friday came deliberately to the Netherlands to carry out his attack, the public prosecution department said on Monday evening.

He made the trip because he felt the prophet Mohammed, the Koran and Islam were being insulted in the Netherlands, and also made mention of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, the spokeswoman told broadcaster NOS.

But he did not mention the Mohammed cartoon competition which Wilders had been organising. The MP cancelled the plans the day before the attack citing the risk to public safety.

Jawed S, who has a German residency permit, came to Amsterdam by train from Germany towards the end of the morning and stabbed his two victims shortly after his arrival. He has told investigators he did not know they were American tourists.

Spotted

Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told television talk show Pauw on Monday evening he is convinced there would have been more victims if the police had not acted so quickly.

He was already under police observation for ‘strange behaviour’ when he launched his attack in the western tunnel under the station, Aalbersberg said.

A specially trained spotter had noticed S ‘aimlessly wandering around’ and alerted colleagues. They were on the point of questioning him when S stabbed one of his victims in the back. Nine seconds later he attacked the second and police shot him in the hip.

Hospital

S had two large knives in his possession, one of which was still in his rucksack.

Both S and his two victims are still being treated in hospital. S was remanded in custody by judges on Monday afternoon.

Last week police arrested a Pakistan national at The Hague’s main railway station after he placed a video on Facebook in which he made vague threats against parliament and Wilders, without mentioning him by name.

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