The State Department on Sunday condemned the stabbing of two U.S. citizens in Amsterdam’s major train station this weekend as an “unprovoked, horrifying attack” and offered assistance to Dutch authorities conducting a terrorism-focused investigation.
“The Department of State extends its concern and support for two U.S. citizens injured in an attack Friday in Amsterdam. We ask that all parties respect the privacy of the victims and their families at this difficult time,” department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
“The United States stands with our Dutch allies and others in our common fight against terrorism in all forms,” Nauert said. “We stand ready to assist Dutch authorities in their investigations as appropriate. We thank the Dutch police and medical personnel for their effective and courageous efforts to apprehend the assailant and care for our citizens.”
U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra also praised the “extremely effective and courageous efforts” of Dutch first responders in a statement Saturday.
“The U.S. Embassy team in the Netherlands stands with our friends in the Netherlands as the authorities seek the full facts as to exactly what happened,” Hoekstra said. “We will assist as appropriate, with our main priority as always being the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens in the country.”
Both victims “were U.S. citizens visiting the Netherlands,” Hoekstra confirmed, before they were attacked at Amsterdam Centraal station in the Dutch capital Friday.
Amsterdam police shot and wounded a 19-year-old Afghan citizen suspected of the double stabbing in the busy railway hub, and city authorities ascribed “a terrorist motive” to his actions, according to the Associated Press.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reiterated that assessment on social media, calling the attack a “cowardly act.” Rutte also said government officials including counter-terrorism coordinator Dick Schoof were in contact with local officials in Amsterdam.
Schoof announced via Twitter Saturday that the Netherlands’ threat level would remain at four on a five-tier scale.