An Afghan man traveled all the way to Amsterdam in the Netherlands “to protect the Prophet Muhammad” by stabbing two U.S. tourists in 2018, he has admitted in court.
“I came to the Netherlands to protect my prophet,” Jawed Santani told an Amsterdam courtroom on Sept. 2.
The 20-year-old suspect is facing two murder charges with the goal of committing an actor of terror, the Daily Mail reported.
“I was planning to kill unfair and cruel people, those who make it possible for the Prophet Muhammad to be insulted,” Santani reportedly said.
The suspect was referring to the stabbing of two U.S. tourists that left them severely injured at an Amsterdam train station on Aug. 31, 2018.
The judges then asked him to explain the goal of the attack.
“I wanted to defend my religion and make it clear that my religion should be left alone,” Santani said. “If you don’t do that, you should be prepared for these kind of actions.”
One of the victims is in a wheelchair owing to damage to his spinal cord, and the other victim suffered injuries in the right chest and arm, according to AFP.
Jihadist Shot in Just Nine Seconds
Police said that Santani was shot nine seconds after the attack, The Epoch Times reported.
Santani’s “abnormal behavior” stood out to a transport law enforcement officer trained to spot terrorists.
“He called two colleagues over,” Police Commissioner Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said. “While they were working out how to go and talk to him, they see he starts stabbing.”
When he ran to stab a third person, the police shot Santani in the hip nine seconds later.
According to Simon van der Woude, Santani’s lawyer, the Afghani didn’t expect to survive after the attack.
“My client appears to have made the assumption that he wasn’t going to survive his attack,” van der Woude said. “Because a will was found at his home in Germany,” the BBC reported.
Van der Woude said his client was motivated by a cartoon competition started by anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.
The competition involved drawing a picture of the Prophet Mohammad, but depictions of the prophet are forbidden, according to many Muslims, the BBC reported.
When the lawyer told Santani that the competition was canceled the day before the attack, he said that he didn’t know, The Epoch Times reported.
Dutch police arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of threatening to attack Wilders after organizing the contest.
The cartoon competition was canceled after thousands of people in Pakistan protested and the Taliban in Afghanistan called for attacks on Dutch troops.