Finland: Turku knife attack is likely terror act

HELSINKI (AP) – The Latest on the deadly stabbing attack in the western Finnish city of Turku (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service says the deadly stabbing attack in the western city of Turku was “a likely terror act.”

Pekka Hiltunen of SUPO told reporters Saturday that the agency was investigating the suspects’ connections to the Islamic State group, since IS “has previously encouraged this kind of behavior.”

On Friday, an 18-year-old asylum-seeker from Morocco stabbed nine people in Turku, and apparently targeted women in particular. Two of the victims died. The attacker was stopped by police, who shot him in the thigh. He is now hospitalized under guard.

Four other men – also from Morocco – were detained in the case but it was unclear what their connection to the suspect was.

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11:20 a.m.

Police say a suspect detained for allegedly stabbing two people to death in a knife attack in the western Finnish city of Turku is being investigated for murder with possible terrorist intent.

Crista Granroth of the National Bureau of Investigation says it appeared that the man – an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum-seeker – targeted women in in his rampage in two public squares.

One man was wounded with a knife slash when he tried to stand between the attacker and a woman.

The suspect had yet to be questioned, while four others, also Moroccans living in Turku who know him, were detained on suspicion of involvement.

The dead from the apparent indiscriminate attack on Friday are Finnish citizens, while the eight wounded include one Italian, one Briton and one Swede.

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10:30 a.m.

Police said the suspect in the stabbing attack in Finland, whose name has not been released, was subdued Friday with a shot in the thigh.

The suspect – an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum-seeker – is hospitalized under guard. Investigators say he came to Finland in early 2016 seeking asylum.

Police said they were working with colleagues from law enforcement abroad. The NBI said others involved in the investigation were the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, police in Turku and the European Union’s police agency, Europol.

Lardot said Europol was helping to check whether there were any connections with the attack in Finland and the two deadly attacks Thursday and Friday in Barcelona and the nearby resort town of Cambrils.

Three of those wounded were still in intensive care. Four remained at the hospital and four had been released. The youngest victim was 15, the oldest 67, police said.

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