Police chief denies report of terror hit list
5 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — The man suspected of assassinating Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam earlier this week was a member of a squad of suicide killers, a newspaper has reported. But its claim that terrorists have drawn up a hit list of Dutch politicians was rejected by a senior police officer.
De Telegraaf claims five politicians are on a “death list”.
Newspaper De Telegraaf — which had promised it would publish a shocking exclusive on Friday about the Van Gogh killing — said Van Gogh and five prominent Dutch politicians are named in a hit list drawn up by Muslim terrorists.
Citing sources close to the murder investigation, the newspaper said Mohammed B., 26, was part of a group of young Moroccan men specially trained by terrorists to carry out suicide attacks in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam police chief Bernard Welten responded to the newspaper’s claims on Friday by saying there was no “death list”.
Welten also indicated he disagreed with the decision by Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner to reveal the full contents of the letter the killer plunged into Van Gogh’s body with a knife.
Mohammed B. is to appear in court on Friday and eight other men have been detained as part of the ongoing investigation.
De Telegraaf said detectives have come across a “death list”.
Top of the list was Van Gogh who made the movie Submission which criticised the treatment of women in Islamic communities.
The other five names on the list are Somali-born Liberal VVD MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, independent conservative MP Geert Wilders; Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk; and Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen and his deputy Ahmed Aboutaleb.
There are unconfirmed media reports that Hirsi Ali and Wilders have been moved to safe houses for their protection.
Ali — who wrote the script for Submission — has gone into hiding several times in the past following death threats, the most recent being levelled against her and Van Gogh when the short film was screened in August.
Previously, Hirsi Ali drew the ire of both moderate and more fundamentalist Muslims by her comment that the Islamic Prophet Mohammed was by modern standards a “perverted tyrant” for marrying a 12-year-old girl.
Separately on Thursday night, Donner said the letter left at Van Gogh’s body was a five-page open letter to Hirsi Ali threatening her life. It also contained references to a holy war “as it is waged by Muslim extremists”, the minister said.
Donner said the letter expresses an extreme religious ideology in which enemies of Islam are told to fear for their lives.
Van Gogh, 47, was repeatedly shot and stabbed and his throat was cut when he was attacked in broad daylight at 8.45am on the Linnaeusstraat in the east of Amsterdam on 2 November.
A second letter was allegedly found on Mohammed B., who was wounded in a shootout with police shortly after Van Gogh was killed. This letter appeared to indicate the suspect wanted to die as a martyr to radical Islam.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, Theo van Gogh, Muslims, terrorism