Tag Archives: Utrecht

Utrecht gunman left letter in getaway car signalling possible terrorism motive

Utrecht gunman left letter in getaway car signalling possible terrorism motiveDutch authorities said Tuesday they were "seriously" investigating a possible terrorist motive for the Utrecht tram attack because of evidence including a letter found in the gunman's getaway 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 seriously. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had earlier said they "cannot exclude" other motives including a family dispute, but police and prosecutors said on Tuesday that 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," police and prosecutors said in a joint statement. "Our investigation has established no link between the main suspect and the victims." Flowers have been set up in tribute to victims at the site of the shooting in a tram Credit: JOHN THYS/ AFP The three people who died in the shooting were a 19-year-old woman from Vianen, south of Utrecht, and two men aged 28 and 49 from Utrecht itself, the statement said. Armed police captured Tanis after an eight-hour manhunt that virtually shut down the Netherlands' fourth largest city and triggered a nationwide increase in security at airports and key sites. Police said they had found a red Renault Clio used as a getaway car after the attack. They had also found a firearm after his arrest, they added. Tanis and two other men aged 23 and 27 are still being interrogated, police said. A stream of mourners laid flowers on Tuesday at the site of the attack near the 24 Oktoberplein square. "One of the victims was my friend's girlfriend. So coming here today was the least I could do," Marco van Rooijen, 43, told AFP. "I am here to pay homage to the victims and to support their families," added local resident Yvette Koetjeloozekoot, 29. Flags were flying half-mast on many buildings around the Netherlands. Public transport was running again after forensic police finished their investigations at the scene and removed the tram on which the shooting erupted. Rutte was chairing a cabinet meeting on the attack, which has raised security fears a day before provincial elections in the Netherlands. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country's intelligence agency was "looking into" the attack. "Some say it is a family matter, some say it is a terror attack … Our intelligence agency is looking into the matter", Erdogan told Ulke TV late Monday. Dutch media have reported that the suspect had a long rap sheet and was only released from jail two weeks ago on a number of charges. Broadcaster NOS reported that some people close to him had links to fundamentalist Islamic groups, but also that he had divorced his wife two years ago. Police and witnesses said gunfire broke out on the tram on Monday morning, sending people fleeing and triggering a huge police response. Mosques and schools were closed across Utrecht following the bloodshed, before heavily armed officers surrounded a building and arrested Tanis. Support for the Netherlands poured in from around the world including the United States, the EU and Russia. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "America stands with you. We will continue to do all we can to help you in this terrible time of tragedy."



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Utrecht shooting: Turkish-born suspect, 37, arrested after three killed in 'possible terror attack'

Utrecht shooting: Turkish-born suspect, 37, arrested after three killed in 'possible terror attack'Dutch police have arrested a 37-year-old man suspected of shooting three people dead and wounding five others in a possible terror attack on a tram. The Turkish-born suspect, Gökmen Tanis, was on the run since Monday morning, forcing vast parts of Utrecht city – including mosques, schools and businesses – into lockdown. Although the local terror threat level was set to a maximum of five, as the day progressed increasing evidence on social and international media suggested the attack could have been personally motivated. During the eight-hour manhunt, residents were advised to stay indoors and police were sent to secure mosques across the Netherlands. In an unusual move, police had named and released photographs of Mr Tanis, a local resident born in Turkey, who is thought to have unleashed a volley of shots on a tram in a quiet, residential area before fleeing in a stolen, red Renault Clio. Police named Tanis as someone they wanted to speak to following the shooting  Local chief public prosecutor Rutger Jeuken said that early indications suggested a terror attack. “The first interpretation of what happened according to witness statements and the evidence we have found suggest a terrorist motive, although we cannot rule out other motives,” he said in a press conference in the evening. But the police acknowledged in a Twitter feed of press releases that other reports in Dutch and Turkish media suggested that there might have been personal motives, possibly targeting a woman who could have been a step-sister or ex-partner. Mr Tanis had reportedly been sentenced for an attempted killing in 2013 after he fired shots towards an apartment building.  Armed police were scrambled to a manhunt in Utrecht after three people were killed in the attack Credit: BPC/WENN He was in court two weeks ago accused of a rape in 2017, and had previously been arrested for attempted vehicle theft, driving under the influence of intoxicants and spitting at police. Mark Rutte, the prime minister, said in a press conference that all flags on government buildings would hang at half-mast tomorrow: “It is still unclear what the motive behind the attack was: terrorist or otherwise, we don't know and we can't exclude anything. "[Whatever the] motive, three people have died and three are fighting for their lives. The whole world is feeling this, and we should not think of this as less than it is.” The shooting took place at the 24 Oktoberplein area, and eye-witnesses said that after shouts of “shooter”, people fled from the tram. The area was quickly shut off by police, three trauma helicopters were called, and armed police and anti-terror forces flooded the streets. Greet Oldenlam, 65, said that she saw paramedics carry a body covered with a bloodstained sheet from the tram. “I can’t believe this happened in my city,” she said. “[It] seems like nowhere is safe now. Those poor people attacked in the tram on a quiet Monday.” Utrecht tram shooting – locator map A witness on the tram, Daan Molenaar, told Dutch broadcaster NOS: “I saw someone lying behind the tram and thought she had been ridden over. "People came out of cars running towards her. Then a shooter came running with a pistol up, and heard people shouting ‘shooter!’ I ran.” As schools and businesses closed their doors, inhabitants stood outside their homes, looking up dumbfounded as helicopters and drones flew over the area. Police forces and emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht Credit: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/AFP Later, armed police surrounded a first-floor apartment in the nearby street of Trumanlaan and the red car was discovered on a nearby road with doors open and engine running. In a press conference on Monday evening, police announced that a second suspect had also been arrested during the day. “Today is a black day for our city,” said mayor Van Zanen. Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.



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3 Killed And Several Injured in Shooting in Dutch City of Utrecht, Police Say

3 Killed And Several Injured in Shooting in Dutch City of Utrecht, Police SayDays after a mass shooting in New Zealand



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'We assume a terror motive': 3 killed on tram in Dutch city of Utrecht; suspect arrested

'We assume a terror motive': 3 killed on tram in Dutch city of Utrecht; suspect arrestedThree people died in a brazen shooting on a tram in a bustling residential neighborhood in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday.



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