It was a warm afternoon in the Netherlands on May 5 as the country celebrated the 73rd anniversary of its liberation from the Nazi occupation. Some had gone to the beach. Others picnicked in local parks.
But in the streets beside the Hollands Spoor train station in The Hague, one man chose a different way to mark the occasion: brandishing a knife, he slashed at random bystanders, wounding three people, one seriously. Police rushed to the scene, where they shot the attacker in the leg to force him to the ground. Yet even as he lay across the sidewalk, he held tightly to his weapon. "Allahu Akbar," he cried out, the Arabic that means "Allah is greatest."
Police arrested the Syrian-born attacker, later identified as "Malek F." But only hours later, authorities were forced to acknowledge that he had been in their sights for some time – not for radical Islamism, but for what they called "disturbed behavior."