Two people were stabbed in Amsterdam’s central rail station Friday. Today the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands confirmed both victims, who survived but have serious injuries, are U.S. Citizens. Here’s the statement from Ambassador Pete Hoekstra:
I want to express my support to those who were attacked at Amsterdam Centraal Station yesterday. We are aware that both victims were U.S. citizens visiting the Netherlands and have been in touch with them or their families. We wish them a speedy recovery and are working closely with the City of Amsterdam to provide assistance to them and their families.
The U.S. Embassy team in the Netherlands stands with our friends in the Netherlands as the authorities seek the full facts as to exactly what happened.
The attacker, a 19-year-old Afghan man, was shot by police as he walked away but survived. He’s the one on his back in the photo above. A short time ago (as I write this) authorities confirmed his motive was terrorism. From the Associated Press:
Authorities in Amsterdam say a 19-year-old Afghan citizen who was shot and detained after a double stabbing at the city’s main railway station had a “terrorist motive.”
The Dutch capital’s government said in a statement issued Saturday that investigators reached that conclusion based on the suspect’s first statements to police.
The suspect allegedly stabbed two American tourists on Friday before police shot and wounded him. He holds a German residency permit and was identified as Jawed S. in line with Dutch privacy rules.
I’ve scanned through some Dutch-language media and, so far, that seems to be the latest information there is. Authorities aren’t saying much about the victims’ injuries, only that they were serious but not life-threatening. As mentioned above, the attacker said something that indicated his motive when police questioned him in the hospital, but no one is reporting what that was.
Authorities are said to be having intense talks with their counterparts in Germany about all of this. The fact that Jawad S. had a German residency permit likely means he is one of the million-plus people who entered Germany under Angela Merkel’s open borders policy. Perhaps the German media will weigh in on that.
If authorities release any more information, such as the names of the victims, I’ll update this later today.
Update: They were attacked from behind.
The unsuspecting travelers stood at an information desk when they were stabbed…The Afghan “first drifted around” at that desk and then took a knife from his bag. “He suddenly stabbed that man in his back. It was a pretty big knife. He immediately fell down “, the salesman told RTL Nieuws.
Jawed S. put another man in his hand. This man ran into the flower shop…heavily bleeding. The attacker ran the same way, but according to [an eyewitness] was stopped by police bullets.