AIVD admits failure over Mohammed B.

2nd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 May 2005 , AMSTERDAM — The Dutch security service AIVD has admitted that in hindsight, it wrongly assessed the threat posed by Mohammed B., the man arrested for the brutal murder Theo van Gogh.

2 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch security service AIVD has admitted that in hindsight, it wrongly assessed the threat posed by Mohammed B., the man arrested for the brutal murder Theo van Gogh.

The confession was made by an AIVD spokesman on Sunday, a statement prompted by the security service's deputy chief, Theo Bot, who had suggested the same.

Bot said on the KRO television programme 'Reporter' that having to identify that an error was made is enough to make the AIVD "sick".

"Because you have, it appears in hindsight, simply incorrectly assessed someone," he said.

The AIVD stressed hours before the Sunday night broadcast that Bot's statement was not in contradiction of AIVD chief, Sybrand van Hulst, who said last week that the security service could not be reproached for anything.

The AIVD spokesman said the statement from Bot simply signified that the AIVD recognised that with the knowledge it now has of Mohammed B. it wrongly assessed him.

However, he said this leaves intact the assertion that the AIVD cannot be reproached for the evaluation made of B. at that time, with the intelligence of that time.

A member of the suspected terrorist network Hofstad group, Nouredine El-F., warned the AIVD in June 2004 that Mohammed B. was dangerous and obsessed with jihad.

But the AIVD spokesman said the security service did not consider the warning reliable. Material such as a suicide 'will' signed by El-F. — which he claims was drawn up by B. — was also discarded.

The AIVD suspected that El-F. wanted to divert attention away from himself by pointing the finger of guilt at someone else.

Van Gogh was subsequently shot and stabbed on an Amsterdam street on 2 November last year. The public prosecutor claims that others were aware of B.'s plans to kill the controversial filmmaker.

Police have arrested 12 suspected members of the Hofstad group, all of whom face a preliminary hearing in Rotterdam on Tuesday. They are accused of plotting the murders of prominent politicians and public administrators.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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