THE HAGUE - A 19-year-old Afghan man suspected in last week’s stabbing of two American tourists at Amsterdam Central Station said Monday was motivated by insults to Islam, prosecutors said Monday.
“The man is of the opinion that in the Netherlands ‘the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the Holy Quran, the Islam and Allah have often been insulted’,” the Dutch prosecution service said in a statement.
The suspect, identified as “Jawed S., “had a terrorist motive and travelled to the Netherlands with that aim,” the statement added.
The Afghan teenager mentioned far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Friday’s attack came a day after an announcement by anti-Islam politician Wilders that he was cancelling moves to stage a blasphemous cartoon competition, a plan that had angered many Muslims.
Earlier Monday Jawed S. appeared before a Dutch judge in connection with the case. He was remanded in custody and will appear again before judges in two weeks, while police continue their probe.
He remains behind bars under maximum security and is only be allowed visits by his lawyer.
Two American tourists were seriously injured when a knife-wielding man attacked bystanders around noon on Friday at the busy train station next to Amsterdam’s historic city centre.
Police reacted quickly and shot the man in the lower body. He and the injured tourists, both men aged 38, were taken to hospital.
The US State Department on Sunday condemned what it called an “unprovoked, horrifying attack” and offered full support to Dutch authorities, both in their investigation and “in our common fight against terrorism in all forms”.
Both of the wounded American men remained in a satisfactory condition in hospital Monday, according to Dutch media.