Afghan asylum seeker who stabbed Americans says he will strike again

Afghan asylum seeker who stabbed two American tourists in random attack in Holland says he ‘will strike again’ as court hears one victim is now in a wheelchair and ‘his life is ruined’

  • Jawed Santani ‘knifed two Americans’ at Amsterdam station before being shot 
  • Police ‘spotter’ noticed suspect’s ‘abnormal behaviour’ after arrival in Dutch city
  • He was shot in the hip within nine seconds of starting his knife attack, police say
  • Today at his trial in Amsterdam, Satani told the judge: ‘I will strike again’

An Afghan asylum seeker who allegedly stabbed two American tourists in a terror attack in Amsterdam today vowed to ‘strike again’. 

Jawed Santani, 19, allegedly launched the attack on August 31 at the city’s Central Station and was shot in the hip by police just nine seconds later. 

The judge at his trial today asked Santani if he had anything to say. He replied: ‘I will strike again’.

The two victims of the knife attack, both 38, are emotionally scarred for life, the court in Amsterdam heard.

Police shot alleged jihadist knifeman Jawed Santani (pictured) who stabbed two US tourists in Amsterdam just nine seconds after he began his attack

Moments after the stabbings, the Afghan asylum seeker was shot in the hip by police officers, officials say

One had his spine severed and has to use a wheelchair. His lawyer said that ‘his life is destroyed’ because he can no longer work and needs constant care from others.  

During the court hearing, Santani blamed Dutch MP Geert Wilders of the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) for his attack.

Santani told the court: ‘Why did you allow this pig to hold a cartoon competition about our prophet Muhammad?’ 

The day before the attack, Wilders had cancelled the cartoon competition out of fear of an attack on Dutch citizens or soldiers. 

Santani was very active on social media where he shared pictures and videos threatening Wilders.

Part of the evidence presented during the trial was a video found on Santani’s phone in which members of the Taliban sing a song about killing, burning and burying those who insult the Prophet Muhammad.

According to local media, Santani told his roommates at the asylum centre in the town of Piesport in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate that he would travel to Amsterdam to ‘show how Allah takes revenge’. 

The 19-year-old suspect is accused of stabbing the Americans in an unprovoked attack after he arrived at Amsterdam’s Central Station on an international train. Prosecutors say he did not know the victims were U.S. citizens

Santani said: ‘I accept the challenge. If he [MP Wilders] goes somewhere, I will kill him.’

He said that Wilders ‘is the son of a pig’ as ‘the entire world knows what the Prophet Muhammad was like’, bringing ‘a lot of people from darkness to the light, from hell to heaven’. 

Santani’s lawyer Simon van der Woude said that the Afghan filed for asylum three years ago in Germany.

Van der Woude said: ‘He went to school there and speaks German relatively well. In Germany he never committed any crimes and was not known with the police.

‘He is Muslim and visits the mosque regularly. He said that his parents died and that four things are important to him: Allah, Islam, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad.’

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Old associates of Santani said he had became radicalised in recent years.

One friend said: ‘He condemned me when I gave a female friend a hug on the street two years ago.

‘He said it was haram, forbidden.’ The friend said that Santani ‘had a lot of anger in him’ and ‘wanted to go back to Afghanistan’. 

At the time of the attack, a ‘spotter’ had been tracking the 19-year-old when he pulled out a blade and knifed the two 38-year-olds at the Dutch capital’s central station.

Just moments later, the Afghan asylum seeker was shot in the hip by officers, according to Amsterdam’s police chief.

The suspect had arrived on a train after travelling from his home in Piesport, western Germany at around noon.

The Americans, whose identities have not been released, paid tribute to the police, saying they ‘cannot thank them enough for what they did to save their lives’. Pictured: Amsterdam station

Amsterdam’s police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said an officer trained to spot pickpockets and potential terrorists noticed the Afghan’s ‘abnormal behaviour’ at the station.

Aalbersberg told Dutch TV: ‘He called two colleagues over. While they are working out how to go and talk to him, they see he starts stabbing.’

One of the Americans was knifed in the back before the second was stabbed.

But by this stage police were just over 60ft away and immediately drew their weapons. Santani was shot as he ran towards another person and was later arrested.

Aalbersberg added: ‘Within nine seconds it was over and the officers made the difference during one precise moment.’

These actions had saved lives, he said, adding that police used CCTV to determine within minutes that he had acted alone. 

In a written statement distributed by the US embassy, the Americans, whose identities have not been released, paid tribute to the police, saying they ‘cannot thank them enough for what they did to save their lives.’

The trial continues. 

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