Terrorism Charges Planned in Utrecht Shooting, Dutch Prosecutors Say

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LONDON — Dutch prosecutors said on Thursday that they planned to bring terrorism charges against a man suspected of killing three people on a tram in the city of Utrecht, in addition to multiple counts of murder or manslaughter.

In a statement, the public prosecutor’s office in the Netherlands suggested that the mental health of the suspect, Gokmen Tanis, was also under investigation, as well as his motives.

“It’s being investigated if the suspect acted out of solely terrorist motive or that his actions came from personal problems in combination with radicalized ideology,” prosecutors said. “The Dutch Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology will be asked to conduct an investigation of the suspect’s personality.”

Mr. Tanis, 37, is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday in his first court appearance in connection with the shootings in Utrecht.

The office said that Mr. Tanis was suspected of murder or manslaughter with terrorist intent, attempted murder or manslaughter, and threats with terrorist intent. The attack on Monday on a busy tram left three people dead and five more injured.

Gokmen Tanis will be arraigned in court on Friday.CreditUtrecht Police, via Associated Press

People in Utrecht who know Mr. Tanis, who was born in Turkey, say he was erratic and sometimes violent, and recently espoused a strict form of Islam. He had been arrested multiple times and was facing a rape charge.

The tram shooting occurred three days after 50 people were killed in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, but there was no evidence that the events in Utrecht were linked to that massacre.

Dutch prosecutors did not say what evidence pointed toward terrorism, but the police have said that a note found in a stolen car that the gunman used to flee the scene supported that suspicion. Officials have not said what was in the note.

So far, prosecutor’s office said, the evidence suggested “that the suspect did not have help from other persons during the shooting.”

An 40-year-old man whom the police have not identified publicly has been detained since Tuesday. Prosecutors said that he did not take part in the attack, but that they were still investigating whether “he possibly had a supporting role.” Others detained this week were not involved and had been released, the police have said.

Some who know Mr. Tanis and his family in the Netherlands and in Turkey have suggested that the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute. But prosecutors and the police have said that there was no indication that he knew any of the victims.

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