Terror Suspect Identified After Horrific Mass Shooting on Dutch Streetcar

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March 18, 2019Mar 18, 2019

UPDATE AT 1:55 P.M. EASTERN ON MONDAY: The suspect has been arrested, according to CNN.

Until recently, the Netherlands was largely free of terror attacks. Now on Monday, a suspected terrorist has taken the lives of three people and injured between five and nine more.

According to the Associated Press, the gunman shot up a streetcar in Utrecht, about 20 miles southeast of Amsterdam. The 2,000-year-old city is the fourth largest in the country.

Security cameras showed the suspect sitting aboard the tram before he stood up and opened fire. He has now been identified as 37-year-old Gokmen Tanis, a Turkish-born man. Police are searching for him and other possible suspects.

While no motive has been determined, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte hinted that Islamic extremism might be a factor.

Calling the shooting “an attack on our tolerant and open society,” Rutte added, “If indeed this is an act of terror, then, of course, there is only one response possible. And that response is as follows: That our state our democracy, we are stronger than fanatics and violence. We will not stop fighting intolerance ever,” according to CNN.

Just last September, Dutch police stopped what could have been a major terror attack on the country. Seven men were arrested after police said they planned “an attack on a large event in the Netherlands” that they hoped resulted in a “large number of victims.”

According to CNN, investigators say the suspects "were looking for AK47s, small arms, hand grenades, bombs, bomb vests, and raw material for one or more car bombs."

At least one of the suspects was Iraqi, and at least two had ISIS ties. Earlier in the month, a 19-year-old Afghan man was arrested after the stabbing of two American tourists in Amsterdam’s Central Station. Security officers responded by shooting him.

After Monday’s incident, the Netherlands’ terror alert is at its highest level: critical.

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