After the terror attack in Utrecht last Monday that left three people dead, Dutch authorities were surprisingly quick to admit the possibility of a terrorist motive. In this case though, after the suspect was arrested his motives were suddenly being questioned. He was described as a ‘cocaine junkie’ and as being ‘instable’, prompting the familiar “deranged man” explanation, while simultaneously rumors of it being a possible honor killing popped up.
No relationship has been uncovered between Turkish-born shooter Gokmen Tanis and the victims. Tanis has a known interest in salafism, there are photos of him with a long beard and giving the ISIS ‘one finger’ salute, he left a note that said “Allah” in the car he stole, and at least one witness has said that he yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire.
The only reason his motive is being questioned is political of course. The Christchurch shooter was immediately desribed as a white supremacist and there was no muddying of those waters at any point. Still, the dominant narrative in the Utrecht case for now seems to be that it was indeed terrorism.
A second terror attack is staying under the radar. On Saturday 16 March in Amsterdam, a radical Muslim market merchant stabbed his two ‘neighbor’ salesmen, a Jewish father and son. The two were rushed to hospital in critical condition, but they are stable now. The father’s life was saved by bystanders who offered swift assistence.
The stabbing was portrayed by the media as a dispute between market salesmen, the victims’ attorneys have a different explanation: the suspect is a Muslim who had recently returned from a weeks-long trip to either Egypt or Syria and who had since been completely dedicated to Islam. The attacker and his victims had had disputes, but they had recently returned to being on speaking terms, until the attacker’s trip. Several people had alerted the police to the man’s increasingly radical and suspect behavior.