‘Terror’ Strikes Netherlands: Three Killed In Shooting By Turkish National
‘Terror’ Strikes Netherlands: Three Killed In Shooting By Turkish NationalThe suspect in the shooting, and a team inspecting the damage (@ABC7/Twitter)

Three people have been killed and five wounded in a shooting in the Netherlands’ Utrecht city, in what the Dutch authorities are saying could be a terrorist attack.

The suspect, a Turkish man named Gokmen Tanis, 37, has now been arrested following a manhunt that lasted hours. The police had earlier released the suspect’s photo from the CCTV footage timestamped four minutes before the shooting.

The suspect has fought in Chechnya, a local businessman told BBC Turkish, who was further quoted as saying, ‘He [the suspect] was arrested because of his connections with [the Islamic State] but released later.’

Islamist groups, including those aligned with the Islamic State, have long operated in Chechnya, and Chechens are among the largest constituents of the ISIS’s foreign pool of fighters.

Though the Dutch authorities are not ruling out terrorism, they are also not confirming it, and there have been conflicting accounts from witnesses. The BBC cited the local Dutch media quoting a witness as saying that the shooter ‘started shooting wildly’, whereas The Guardian cited local media quoting some witnesses as saying that the shooter appeared to be shooting at one person in particular, a woman, who said, ‘I have done nothing.’

The Utrecht shooting at the hands of a Turkish suspect comes a day after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used video from the Christchurch mosque attack in his election rallies to galvanise Islamist support. He used inflammatory language against Christians in the rally.

The Guardian quoted Erdogan as saying, ‘You will not turn Istanbul into Constantinople,’ he referred to the city’s older Christian name before its Islamic conquest. ‘Your grandparents came here and they returned in caskets. Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers.’

The New Zealand government condemned Erdogan’s politicisation of the act of terror on their soil in which 50 people were killed.

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