Utrecht shooting: Police 'seriously' considering terrorism as motive after suspicious note found in getaway car

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Dutch prosecutors are "seriously" considering terrorism as the motive behind the deadly shooting of passengers on a tram in Utrecht that left three dead.

Seven others were injured – three badly – on Monday after shots were fired at a tram stop tracing an international manhunt, raising the terror threat level. A 37-year-old man of Turkish descent was arrested hours later.

The following are the results of a series of terrorist reports.

But prosecutors said on Tuesday their investigations had so far not indicated that the main suspect, named as Gokmen Tanis, knew any of the victims.

They added that the reasons for the terrorism as a motive. It was not immediately clear what the note said.

"The investigation has revealed no relationship between the suspects and the victims," ​​a police statement said.

"So far, a terrorist motive is seriously being considered," the statement continued, citing "the nature of the shooting and a letter found in the getaway car".

The victims were identified as a 19-year-old woman from Vianen and two men, aged 28 and 49, from Utrecht.

Three people were severely injured – two women aged 20 and 21 and a 74-year-old man.

The development came after police arrested a third person on suspicion of involvement in the tram shooting.

Public prosecution office spokesman Ties Kortmann said

Scene following Utrecht tram shooting

Dutch media citing his neighbors in Utrecht speculated that the shooting may have been linked to a relationship.

Mahmut Tanis, an uncle of Tanis who lives in the Netherlands, told Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency that he doubted radical motives.

"Looking at my nephew's condition, the possibility that he was a terror attack is low," he said.

Tanis had previously been arrested, prosecutors said, but have declined to provide details.

There was no immediate comment from the main suspect or any lawyer representing him.

Police carried out searches at locations in Utrecht and elsewhere in the Netherlands over the night, leading to the two other men, both from Utrecht and aged 23 and 27.


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