Amsterdam stabbing suspect had 'terrorist' motive, officials say

AMSTERDAM, Sept 1 (Reuters) - An Afghan man shot by police at Amsterdam's central station on Friday after stabbing two American tourists had a "terrorist" motive, city officials said on Saturday.

The suspect, who was identified as a 19-year-old Afghan with a German residence permit, was questioned on Saturday in hospital where he was being treated for gunshot wounds to his lower body.

"First statements made by the suspect indicate he had a terrorist motive," Amsterdam city council said in a statement.

German police searched the man's house at the request of their Dutch colleagues and seized several data carriers, the authorities said.

The suspect, who is being held in solitary confinement, will be brought before a judge on Monday to decide whether he should remain in custody.

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Double stabbing at Amsterdam's central station
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Double stabbing at Amsterdam's central station
Policemen and forensics are at work after a stabbing incident at the central station in Amsterdam, on August 31, 2018. - The Police have shot a suspect after two people were stabbed. The stabbing was possibly an act of terrorism, said the police. The suspect and two other people who were injured in the stabbing incident were taken to hospital. (Photo by Remko de Waal / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Policemen are at work after a stabbing incident at the central station in Amsterdam, on August 31, 2018. - The Police have shot a suspect after two people were stabbed. The stabbing was possibly an act of terrorism, said the police. The suspect and two other people who were injured in the stabbing incident were taken to hospital. (Photo by Sem van der Wal / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read SEM VAN DER WAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers are pictured in front of police cordon tape at The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
Security officials stand alert at The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers are pictured outside the Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
Officials stand inside a cordonned-off area at The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were injured in a stabbing incident. - Two people were hurt during a stabbing incident at Amsterdam's busy Central Station with the alleged attacker shot and wounded, Dutch police said. (Photo by Remko de Waal / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
A security official stands beside a cordonned-off area at The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were injured in a stabbing incident. - Two people were hurt during a stabbing incident at Amsterdam's busy Central Station with the alleged attacker shot and wounded, Dutch police said. (Photo by Remko de Waal / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Security officials cordon off an area inside The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
Security officials stand alert outside The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
Security officials stand alert at The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
Security officials cordon off an area outside The Central Railway Station in Amsterdam on August 31, 2018, after two people were hurt in a stabbing incident. (Photo by Germain MOYON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERMAIN MOYON/AFP/Getty Images)
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The two people injured in the incident were U.S. citizens, the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands said in a statement on Saturday.

Ambassador Pete Hoekstra said the pair were tourists visiting the city. They remained in hospital on Saturday with serious injuries, local police said.

Earlier this week, Dutch police arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of threatening to attack far-right politician Geert Wilders over his plan to hold a contest of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammad.

Wilders on Thursday canceled the contest citing security risks, as thousands of people in Pakistan marched in protest of his plan, while the Taliban in Afghanistan called for attacks on Dutch troops serving in the country.

The National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security Policy said the national threat level in the Netherlands was unchanged at "substantial," or one notch below the highest.

Since attacks by Islamist radicals in France, Belgium, Britain and Germany, the Netherlands has been considered a target, because it supports U.S.-led military operations against Islamic State in the Middle East.

The last major attack in the Netherlands was the killing by a Muslim radical of Theo van Gogh, the outspoken film maker and great-grandnephew of the famous painter, in 2004.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer and Toby Sterling Editing by Andrew Roche and Helen Popper)

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