Finnish police said on Saturday that an 18-year-old Moroccan man arrested after knife attacks that killed two people in the city of Turku appeared to have specifically targeted women and that the spree was being treated as terrorism-related.
The suspect arrested on Friday after being shot in the leg by police had arrived in Finland last year, they said, adding they later arrested four other Moroccan men over possible links to him.
“Due to information received during the night, the Turku stabbings are now being investigated as murders with terrorist intent,” Crista Granroth from the National Bureau of Investigation told a news conference.
While the identity of the victims has not been disclosed by authorities, police said the attacker appeared to have targeted women during the stabbing spree in downtown Turku, a city of just under 200,000 people in southwest Finland.
“It seems that the suspect chose women as his targets, because the men who were wounded were injured when they tried to help, or prevent the attacks,” Granroth said.
Both of those killed in the attack were women, as well as six of the eight wounded, she added. The two who died were Finns and an Italian and two Swedish citizens were among the injured.