Security officials cordon off an area inside Amsterdam's central railway station Friday after the stabbings. Image Credit: Agency

AMSTERDAM: Dutch officials Saturday said a knife-wielding attacker who wounded two US citizens at Amsterdam Central Station a day before "had a terrorist motive".

"Following an initial statement by the suspect it has emerged that the man had a terrorist motive," Amsterdam City Hall said in a statement after police had questioned the suspect.

US ambassador Pete Hoekstra earlier confirmed both the victims, who were rushed to hospital after Friday's attack, were American citizens.

The pair are in a satisfactory condition, officials said.


Panic broke out at the Dutch capital's main station shortly after midday Friday when the suspect stabbed two bystanders before he was shot and wounded by officers.

Police later identified the man as a 19-year-old Afghan with a German residency permit. His name was released by Dutch authorities as "Jawed S.".

Amsterdam City Hall said the suspect was being held in hospital under police guard and would briefly appear in court Monday behind closed doors.

Dutch authorities said they were in close contact with their German counterparts who raided the suspect's home Saturday at an unknown location in Germany.

"Among other things, several data carriers have been confiscated and are being investigated," they said.

Random attack

Initial investigations also indicated the man had not specifically targeted the Americans — suggesting a random attack.

Amsterdam police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek had already told AFP late Friday that authorities were "seriously taking into account that there was a terrorist motive".

Further details of the two Americans injured were not immediately known, although one was reported to be a young man.

Hoekstra said the US is ready to "assist as appropriate, with our main priority as always being the safety and well-being of US citizens in the country".