While investigation of Monday’s shooting murders of three civilians in Utrecht, Holland with an automatic weapon, continues, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said police are wondering whether the attack had “terror motives.”
The answer could come eventually from the fact that the shooter, Gokmen Tanis, 37, is Turkish-born. Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus has revealed that Tanis had a criminal record, which added to the complexity of the investigation: namely, is it possible that a Turkish-born career criminal would drop everything and embark on a life of terrorism.
Stephanie Van den Berg, FRANCE 24’s reporter in The Hague, explained that “the main question that everyone is trying to figure out is what exactly was the motive because we’re hearing mixed things. We’re hearing from his friends and family that the gunman is a psychiatric patient, that he has psychiatric trouble and that he had some kind of family feud and may be this shooting is related to that.”
In other words, can a family feuding, raging psychopath seek terrorism as an alternative engagement. Is it even legal? Aren’t there forms he should fill out issued by the appropriate department at the European Union headquarters in Brussles?
“On the other hand,” Van den Berg said, “There are also reports that he is linked to extremist Islam via a brother who fought in Chechnya and went through periods of being extremely devout and Muslim, and also periods of using a lot of drugs and kind of spiraling out of control.”
So much confusion. And it doesn’t help to know that Tanis has already been charged over the years with petty crimes, attempted manslaughter, and rape.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday said in a statement: “Three people are dead and several more are wounded, some of whom are now in a critical condition. The suspect has now been arrested. Questions and rumors abound. And, as we said earlier this afternoon: the motives for the attack are still unclear.”
Finally, the prime minister offered his explanation as to why it was so important to know for sure why the Trkish guy murdered three civilians and put several others in hospital: “If it is a terror attack,” the prime minister declared, “then we have only one answer: our nation, democracy, must be stronger than fanaticism and violence.”
At which point one is tempted to conclude that the honorable PM was very tired and anxious at the time he said this really stupid thing, and to offer him and his country our sincere condolences, complete with our wishes that he get his police to shoot dead crazed Turkish shooters, regardless of their motivations.