Police in Finland say they are not ruling out a potential terrorist motivation after two “foreign” men attacked bus drivers while on the road, in one case nearly causing a head-on collision.
The two incidents, on a bus from Helsinki to the city of Oulu and another on a bus from Loimaa to Turku, occurred last week and saw passengers described as being “foreign” get up from their seats and attack the drivers, Yle reports.
The first incident saw a man attempt to grab the steering wheel of the bus that was travelling to Turku and drive it into the opposite lane. According to Petri Valtanen, the CEO of the bus company, it nearly hit an oncoming bus but the driver of the other bus was able to get out of the way, leading to only minor damage to both vehicles.
“If the driver in the other bus hadn’t reacted [so quickly] it would have been a head-on collision,” Valtanen said.
Finland Terror Trial: Attacker at ‘War Against Women’, Stabbed Them to ‘Strengthen the Islamic Kingdom’ https://t.co/inF6JaUq4X
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The next attack took place only a day later and saw another foreign man, also said to be in his 30s, attack the driver of his bus but he was almost immediately subdued by other passengers and held down until he was arrested by police.
Investigator Sanna Springare said that police were investigating all possibilities and refused to rule out whether or not the attacks were connected and whether they may be linked to terrorism.
While Finland has a smaller radical Islamic scene than countries like Germany, France, or Belgium, the Nordic nation did see a terrorist attack in Turku last year when an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker stabbed several people, killing two and injuring seven others.
Finland, like many other European countries, received a number of asylum seekers during the height of the migrant crisis in 2015. According to Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the majority of asylum seekers who came to the country were not refugees but economic migrants.