Queen's Day killer wanted to hit royal family, investigation finds
The royal family was indeed the target of the attack on Queen's Day, April 30, in Apeldoorn, an investigation by the justice ministry has concluded. Karst T. in his last words called crown-prince Willem-Alexander a fascist and a racist.
Seven people were lethally wounded when Karst T. drove his car into a crowd of on-lookers who had come to greet the royal family. T. (38) himself died from his wounds hours after his car crashed into a monument.
'The queen, the queen!'
Three separate reports about the Queen's Day incident were published on Friday. The national police conducted the criminal investigation; the city of Apeldoorn had its own actions reviewed by the Inspectorate for Public Order and Safety (IOOV) and the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism (NCTb) evaluated the security arrangements for the royal family.
The criminal investigation concluded that Karst T. acted alone. He confirmed to police at the scene that he had wanted to hit the royal family, which was waving at the crowds from an open-top bus. He kept saying: "The queen, the queen!" The investigation could not confirm beyond a doubt that T. intended to commit suicide.
According to the report it is unlikely that T. acted out of a particular ideology or belief. Neither is there is any evidence that he harboured an extreme aversion to the royal family. But in 2004, T. apparently told a former employer that he "would be famous." He added as a joke that he was thinking of launching "an attack against the royal family".
It is plausible, the prosecutor's office said, that Karst T. didn't known that there would be a big crowd of people in his path. Although he honked his horn at the on-lookers, he didn't slow down at any point. He was going 112 km per hour when he hit the monument.
In a separate investigation, the IOOV concluded that the emergency communication system failed on the day of the Apeldoorn attack. The system quickly became overloaded, hampering the emergency response.
It is the third time in a short period that the C2000 emergency communication system has failed during a crisis. It happened when a Turkish Airlines plane crashed near Schiphol, and again last month when rioting broke out a large dance party at a beach near Rotterdam.
An investigation by National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism revealed several flaws in the organisation of the Queen's Day celebrations in Apeldoorn, but it also said that the different security services "all did what could be reasonably expected of them".
The report noted that the public aspect of the Queen's Day celebrations - the Dutch royal family is known for freely mingling with the people - took precedence over security concerns. The NCTb is advising to sharpen security around the royal family, with a special emphasis on "unlikely scenarios".