Rotterdam Shooting: Understanding the Incidents and Its Impact


The tragedy of the Rotterdam shootings

The Rotterdam shootings under the prism of terrorism consist of shootings that shortly occurred one after the other. The shooter identified as Fouad L. first stormed into his neighbor’s house. He ended up killing 39-year-old Marlous and her daughter who were his neighbors in the building. He first set fire to the house and continued storming towards the Erasmus Medical Center in the city where he shot 43-year-old, professor Jurgen Damen. While the people present at the facility panicked and ran, the suspect launched Molotov cocktails at the screaming staff and patients. This incident has left 3 people dead.

Type: Social Terrorism

Social Terrorism is a type of terrorism carried out by an individual or group that feels marginalized and oppressed. An individual/group may use social terrorism as an instrument to instigate fear in the system that has wronged him. Social terrorism is often used as an umbrella term that encompasses mediums to seek revenge, political change, social unrest, or simply to spread terror.

Motivating Factors: Ego and Revenge.

The killing of the neighbor is a method to seek revenge for the police complaint she made regarding animal abuse. Fouad. L was convicted of abusing a rabbit in 2021, and due to his conviction, his diploma was put on hold . He terrorized the people at the medical facility In order to protest the sabotage the staff of Erasmus Medical Center had caused him in return for his conviction. He took the lives of his neighbor, Marlous, and her daughter who had launched various complaints against Fouad’s Behavior. He burned her house down. He shot the professor as revenge for the sabotage and defamation the institution put him through by holding his diploma. His ego was hurt by the humiliations he had to face hence he took revenge for their actions.

Intensity and Impact: Such an incident has not taken place in the Netherlands in the past decade hence, it comes as a shock to the nation of Netherlands. They have gathered in masses outside the
neighbor’s house and at the medical facility with candles and flowers in their hands. The Dutch feel scared and intimidated by the actions of Fouad.

Affects both internal and international: The domestic and international effects of the shooting will be that people displaying such forms of destructive behaviors such as animal abuse or viewing graphic images containing stabbing etc. will be taken more seriously under the law . They will be immediately placed in social welfare centers where they are treated for their illness. Additionally, stricter psychological test that don’t let people with mental illness pass through easily have to be designed domestically and internationally. Fouad could’ve been granted his diploma after a psychological test; hence the criterion of evaluation must be redesigned so that culprits cannot get back in the system. Imagine, if he had been able to practice his diploma, he could’ve risked so many lives.

Prediction for the future, whether more cases of this sort emerge or not?

Yes, they will take place because the issue of having social pressures that result in social terrorism as a coping mechanism has been constantly increasing in the Northern Hemisphere. These must be serious consequences for resorting to violence for their mental trauma. If a similar incident arises out of the need for an ethnocentric, religious, or ideological point of view, charges of treason are charged. That group or individual is labeled as a terrorist. In this case, it should be treated with the same seriousness because taking someone’s life because of revenge and getting away with it due to mental disease is a way of maneuvering the loopholes of the law. The thought that a person can get away with taking three lives because of a mental disease is a dangerous one. It is important to remember that mental illness is not an excuse for violence. If someone is a danger to themselves or others, they should seek external help.

This event is a reminder of the importance of tolerance and understanding. We must all work together to create a society where everyone feels safe and respected, regardless of their religion, race, or ethnicity. In the aftermath of the shootings, it is important to support the victims and their families. We can also do our part to prevent future tragedies by speaking out against hate and discrimination.

Bruce, About Gregor. 2023. “Definition of Terrorism – Social and Political Effects – JMVH.” JMVH. May 26, 2023.
BBC News. 2023. “Rotterdam Shootings: Hospital Was Warned of ‘psychotic’ Suspect.” BBC News, September 29, 2023.
Desk, Web. 2023. “Rotterdam Shootings Death Toll Rises to 3 as Wounded Girl Dies.” The News International, September 29, 2023.
Biesemans, Bart. 2023. “Suspect in Rotterdam Shootings Had Troubled Past, Targeted Victims.” Reuters, September 29, 2023.



Ms Zarka Khan


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