Moroccan asylum seeker ‘targeted women’ in Finland terror stabbing

Time & Us
Last Updated: August 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm

TURKU: Finnish police said on Saturday that a Moroccan asylum seeker deliberately targeted women in a stabbing spree that left two dead and is being investigated as the country’s first terror attack.

Police shot and wounded the knife-wielding suspect, detaining him minutes after Friday’s rampage at a busy market square in Turku, southwestern Finland.

Eight other people were injured, among them six women, police said.

Finland raised its emergency readiness after the attack, increasing security at airports and train stations and putting more officers on the streets.

“We think that the attacker especially targeted women, and the men were wounded after coming to their defence,” superintendent Christa Granroth of Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation told reporters.

Four Moroccan citizens were arrested in a Turku apartment and refugee reception centre overnight. They have links to the suspect, but police have not yet established whether they were connected to Friday’s attack. The stabbings were initially probed as murders but further information received meant “the offences now include murders with terrorist intent,” police said in a statement.

Officers identified the main suspect as a 18-year-old Moroccan citizen who arrived in Finland in early 2016 and sought asylum. His name was not disclosed, nor his motive known.

“We tried to talk with the attacker in hospital but he didn’t want to speak,” Granroth said. The suspect is being treated for a gunshot wound to the thigh.

Media reports said his asylum request had been rejected but police would not confirm this, saying only that his case had been processed by migration authorities.