Two people who were seriously injured in a knife attack at a railway station in Amsterdam on Friday have been identified as U.S. citizens, the U.S. embassy in the Netherlands said Saturday, as police investigate what they’re now calling an attack with a “terrorist motive.”
“I want to express my support to those who were attacked at Amsterdam Centraal Station yesterday,” Ambassador Pete Hoekstra said in a statement.
“We are aware that both victims were U.S. citizens visiting the Netherlands and have been in touch with them or their families,” he added.
Dutch police shot and arrested the suspect, now identified as a 19 year-old Afghan man with a German residency permit, after he stabbed two bystanders in the middle of the day Friday. (RELATED: Man Shot After Stabbing Two At Dutch Railway Station)
The U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands tweeted the following on Friday after initial reports:
Translation: There was a stabbing at the Central Station in Amsterdam. The suspect was shot by police. They are investigating. https://t.co/lCupEXzGR5
— US Embassy The Hague (@usembthehague) August 31, 2018
Early investigations revealed the attacker did not know his victims and did not specifically target the two Americans, but Dutch authorities later said they “are seriously taking into account that there was a terrorist motive,” an Amsterdam police spokesman, Frans Zuiderhoek, told AFP Friday.
The Netherland’s government issued a statement on Saturday definitively saying the attacker had a “terrorist motive,” according to The Associated Press.
Authorities say they reached that conclusion after receiving the suspect’s first statements to police.
Details on the two U.S. citizens have not yet been released, but one is reported to be a young man.
“We will assist as appropriate, with our main priority as always being the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens in the country,” Hoekstra said.
Dutch police are currently investigating the attacker in a hospital and say they are in close contact with German officials for more details on the assailant.
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