Dutch Authorities Say Amsterdam Stabbing Suspect Had ‘Terrorist Motive’

Amsterdam
Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

According to CBS News, Dutch authorities believe that the suspect who was shot and detained for stabbing two American tourists at the central railway station in downtown Amsterdam on Friday had “terrorist motive.” Dutch investigators said that they came to this conclusion based on what the suspect first said to the police upon his arrest.

The suspect that Dutch police currently have in custody for allegedly stabbing two tourists is 19-year-old Afghan citizen Jawed S., who holds a German residence permit. While the two victims are still currently recovering in the hospital, their injuries are not life-threatening.

Following the suspect’s arrest, German authorities searched his house, confiscating several data storage devices, which the police will later analyze. The suspect is expected to be questioned at the hospital sometime on Saturday, where he is recovering from a gunshot wound and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, although the specific charges have yet to be released.

Dutch police spokesperson Rob van der Veen issued a statement on Friday, saying, “Something happened, we don’t know yet what, but during that two people were stabbed and one person with a knife in his hand walked away and he was shot by police.”

According to a statement issued from the Amsterdam mayor’s office on Friday, police don’t believe that “the victims were deliberately chosen. The investigation is in full swing with all scenarios being considered.

On Saturday morning, however, Dutch officials announced, “Following an initial statement it has emerged the man had a terrorist motive.”

U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, expressed his support for the two stabbing victims, acknowledging that both of them are American citizens. “We wish them a speedy recovery and are working closely with the city of Amsterdam to provide assistance to them and their families,” Hoekstra said. “The US Embassy team in the Netherlands stands with our friends in the Netherlands as the authorities seek the full facts as to exactly what happened.”

“We will assist as appropriate,” he continued, “with our main priority as always being the safety and well-being of US citizens in the country.”

Central Station, where the stabbings occurred, is a relatively busy and boisterous public area in downtown Amsterdam with various entry and exit points. According to a BBC News estimate, around 250,000 people walk through and use the station every day. Because of the sheer volume of daily passersby, the station is regularly patrolled by armed police.