Letter, facts point to ‘terrorist motive’ in Dutch tram attack, Latest World News - The New Paper

Letter, facts point to ‘terrorist motive’ in Dutch tram attack

This article is more than 12 months old

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS : Dutch authorities said on Tuesday they were "seriously" investigating a terrorist motive for the Utrecht tram attack because of evidence including a letter found in the suspected gunman's car.

Police were questioning Turkish-born main suspect Gokmen Tanis, 37, and two other men over Monday's rampage in which three people were killed and seven injured, three of them seriously.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had earlier said they "cannot exclude" other motives including a family dispute, but police and prosecutors on Tuesday said the probe was leaning towards terrorism.

"So far, a terrorist motive is seriously being taken into account. This is based on a letter found in the getaway car among other things and the nature of the facts," they said in a joint statement. "Our investigation has established no link between the main suspect and victims."

The three people who died were a 19-year-old woman from Vianen, south of Utrecht, and two men aged 28 and 49 from Utrecht, the statement said.

Police said they found a red Renault Clio the suspect had used as a getaway car. They also found a firearm after his arrest.

Reports said the two other suspects, aged 23 and 27, were brothers but unrelated to Tanis.

Mourners laid flowers on Tuesday at the site of the attack.

"I am here to pay homage to the victims and to support their families," said resident Yvette Koetjeloozekoot, 29.

Mr Rutte told Parliament on Tuesday: "A day later, I am still filled with horror." - AFP