AIVD secrets 'leaked to Van Gogh accomplice'

11th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — An employee of the Dutch intelligence service AIVD is suspected of leaking State secrets to the housemate of the man accused of murdering filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a court has been told.

10 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — An employee of the Dutch intelligence service AIVD is suspected of leaking State secrets to the housemate of the man accused of murdering filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a court has been told.

The housemate of murder suspect Mohammed B., identified only as Achmed H., was in possession of a print out of a taped conversation at the time of his arrest. AIVD employee Outman Ben A. is accused of passing the document on, Rotterdam Court was told on Monday.

The public prosecutor accuses the 34-year-old Dutchman of leaking state secrets to Islamic extremists over a period of up to a year. It had not been previously disclosed that the alleged terror network, Hofstadgroep, had been supplied with information.

Both Mohammed B. and Achmed H. are allegedly members of the suspected terror network, known in English as Main City Group. B. is accused of murdering Van Gogh in Amsterdam on 2 November last year.

H. was arrested on the same day and is accused of playing a central role in the terror network.

Another terror suspect, Samir A., is also accused of membership of the group and will face trial on 24 February on charges he plotted attacks on Schiphol Airport and the Dutch Parliament. Other arrested members of the group were allegedly planning to kill MPs Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders.

It had only been disclosed in the past that a group of Muslims in Utrecht were in possession of state secrets, allegedly leaked by the suspect, newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Tuesday. It is thus a revelation that the Main City Group was possibly passed on sensitive information.

Ben A. was arrested on 30 September in the AIVD headquarters in Leidschendam. He was employed as an audio editor and interpreter in the Islamic Terrorism Centre and has since been placed "in restriction", meaning that he almost has no contact with the outside world.

Three others were arrested on allegations they received information from Ben A., but have since been released. They have been ordered to hand in their passports and remain at the disposal of justice authorities, news agency ANP reported.

The AIVD has some 100 to 200 suspected Islamic militants living in the Netherlands under surveillance. B. was also under surveillance for some time before the AIVD's attention turned elsewhere. Phone taps are a common form of surveillance.

The investigation into Ben A.'s actions is continuing, such as the manner in which he allegedly spread confidential information via the internet.
Rotterdam Court rejected a request during a pre-trial hearing on Monday to release Ben A. from remand custody and a prosecution spokesman told Expatica that the trial is expected to begin at the start of April.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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