Monday 14 October 2019

Gunman in tram 'may have had terror motive'

 

Flowers are placed at the site of the shooting in Utrecht. Photo: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters
Flowers are placed at the site of the shooting in Utrecht. Photo: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters

Henry Samuel

Dutch prosecutors yesterday said they were "seriously" investigating a terrorist motive for the Utrecht tram attack after discovering a letter in the gunman's getaway car.

Police were questioning the prime suspect, Turkish-born Gokmen Tanis (37) and two other men over Monday's shooting in which three people were killed and seven injured.

"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," said prosecutors and police in a statement. "Our investigation has established no link between the main suspect and the victims."

The three people who died were Roos Verschuur, a 19-year-old woman from Vianen, south of Utrecht; Rinke Terpstra (49), a youth football coach and father of three; and a third, unnamed man (28) from Utrecht.

Despite the terror suspicions, prosecutors said that "other motives are not being ruled out".

Armed police captured Tanis after an eight-hour manhunt that brought the Netherlands' fourth largest city to a standstill amid a security lockdown.

While his relatives had links to fundamentalist Islamic groups, Tanis - a repeat offender - was reportedly known for unstable behaviour after divorcing his wife two years ago. Reports said the two other suspects, aged 23 and 27, were brothers but unrelated to Tanis. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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