Utrecht tram killer 'should have been in jail'

Cheryl Sanders
March 21, 2019

Authorities in the Netherlands said Tuesday they were investigating terrorism as a possible motive behind a shooting on a tram that left three people dead and five others wounded.

That letter is one of the reasons a terrorist motive is being considered, BBC News points out. 'The note found in the getaway vehicle and the nature of the facts would indicate this.

Tanis, a 37-year-old man of Turkish descent, was being held on suspicion of "manslaughter with terrorist intent", though authorities have not ruled out other possible motives.

Turkish intelligence services are investigating the gun attack in the Netherlands to determine whether it was a terror attack or a possible family dispute, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.

In June, two terror suspects were arrested while close to carrying out attacks including at an iconic bridge in Rotterdam and in France, prosecutors said.

Dutch media published details of two of the victims killed Monday - the 19-year-old woman reportedly worked in a café in Vianen, and a father of three who volunteered as a soccer coach in Vleuten, a town west of Utrecht.

Prosecutors say a weapon was recovered when he was arrested.

"A firearm was found during his arrest", the statement added.

Police said two other suspects were also in custody but their role was unclear.

Prosecutors say they are seriously considering an extremist motive after finding a note in a suspected getaway vehicle after the attack, and because of the nature of the shooting, but have not ruled out other possible motives.

"The bad events of yesterday and the loss of our colleague have hit us hard", CEO Pier Eringa said in a statement.

A stream of mourners laid flowers on Tuesday at the site of the attack near the 24 Oktoberplein square.

"A day later, I am still filled with horror", Rutte told parliament.

Flags were flying half-staff on many buildings around the country.

Public transportation was running again after forensic police finished their investigations at the scene and removed the tram on which the shooting erupted.

Under Dutch law Tanis must be brought before a judge by Thursday but does not yet have to be charged.

Broadcaster NOS reported that some members of his families had links to fundamentalist Islamic groups, but also that he was known for unstable behavior after divorcing his wife two years ago.

Support for the Netherlands poured in from around the world, including the United States, the European Union and Russian Federation.

Other reports by iNewsToday