AIVD secrets leak 'worse than thought'
8 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — An interpreter with the national security service AIVD leaked a greater amount of sensitive information than initially suspected, the public prosecutor told Rotterdam Court in a pre-trial hearing on Friday.
8 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — An interpreter with the national security service AIVD leaked a greater amount of sensitive information than initially suspected, the public prosecutor told Rotterdam Court in a pre-trial hearing on Friday.
The interpreter, only identified as O. Ben A., allegedly passed confidential AIVD information on to the suspected terror group Hofstadgroep.
The prosecutor claims that Ben A. passed on a tape of a bugged telephone conversation to Hofstadgroep suspect A. H. on 5 August 2004. And he also allegedly sent an interim report on the AIVD investigation to M. B., another Hofstadgroep suspect.
There are presently 12 alleged members of the Hofstadgroep in remand custody. They were allegedly in contact with Samir A., who was acquitted in Rotterdam Court on Wednesday of planning terror attacks in the Netherlands.
The alleged killer of Theo van Gogh, Mohammed B., is also believed to have been in contact with the Hofstadgroep.
AIVD spokesman Vincent van Steen admitted on Friday that a more significant amount of information was leaked than previously suspected. He said this was demonstrated in both the prosecutor's inquiries and internal AIVD investigations. The AIVD inquiry has not yet been completed.
Citing an email the suspect sent to a board member of the association of Dutch-Moroccan academics (UMAH), Saïd Bellari, the prosecutor claims that Ben A. might have leaked even more information. Bellari is known as a sympathiser of the Arab European League (AEL).
Ben A. is accused of alerting Bellari that AEL meetings and telephone calls were being monitored and bugged by the AIVD. He also allegedly revealed that an AIVD mole was operating within the AEL.
The AEL is a pro-Muslim lobby and political group with branches in Belgium and the Netherlands. It has sparked controversy in the past by praising the renegade Iraqi resistance operated from the city of Fallujah.
The AIVD actions against the AEL were allegedly linked to investigations into extremism in the Netherlands and international terrorism.
The 34-year-old Ben A. was arrested on 30 September last year in the AIVD headquarters in Leidschendam. Employed as an audio editor and interpreter in the Islamic Terrorism Centre, the Dutchman is accused of leaking state secrets to Islamic extremists over a period of up to a year.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news