Mar 19 2019

Terror attack or family dispute? Turkey investigating alleged Utrecht attacker

Turkish intelligence services are investigating the shooting attack that killed three people in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday to determine whether it was a terror attack or a possible family dispute, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Dutch police arrested Turkey-born Gökmen Tanis, who previously been arrested for links to Islamic State, as the lead suspect of the attack that also wounded five people, and said they were investigating a likely terrorist motive but could not rule out other possibilities. 

“Our intelligence services are investigating all of this, our intelligence chief told me that he was going to gather all details and would come back to me,” Erdoğan told Turkish TV channel Ulke TV, according to the Times of Israel. “Some say that it is a family dispute, others say it is a terrorist act.”

Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu, citing relatives of the alleged attacker, said it may have been a family dispute.

The father of the suspect, Mehmet Tanis, said he had lost contact with his son after returning to Turkey from the Netherlands in 2008. He said his son should be punished if found responsible, a Turkish news agency reported, according to the Times of Israel.