Update: The man's name was Tarik Zahzah -- what a name! -- and he seems to be someone who simply has read too many conspiracy websites.
And here is the original story...
I'm not sure what to make of this. (Also see here.) Yesterday, a well-dressed, 19 year-old self-proclaimed "hacker" used a fake gun to commandeer a major television station in the Netherlands. His name has not been released as of this writing. He said that he wanted to use that night's news broadcast to address the nation, and that secreted bombs would go off if he did not get a chance to speak on television.
A security guard tricked him into entering a different studio, one that was nearly empty. The channel went off the air for a while. Then, in what can only be described as a remarkable bit of theater, broadcasting resumed just before the cops showed up to make the arrest, as captured in the video embedded above.
At this writing, the man's name has not been released. His motive also remains unclear, although he said the following words before arrest:
"The things that are going to be said -- those are very large world affairs. We were hired by the security service.”
It is reported that he also carried a letter, which read as follows:
”Realise that I am not on my own. Furthermore, eight high explosives have been planted that contain radioactive material. If you don't take me to studio 8 to make my broadcast, we will be forced to step into action.”
One wonders why he did not include the gist of his message to the nation within that letter. One also wonders why the cops felt certain that they could make the arrest without fear of setting off the explosions. Perhaps they had good reason to believe that this man's confederates were imaginary.
I honestly do not know what to make of all of this. Perhaps it is a measure of my cynicism that what surprises me most is that the cops didn't just shoot the guy.
Can you imagine American policemen doing what these Dutch cops did? Inconceivable.
Although I'm pretty sure that this fellow was just a lone oddball, here are the main intelligence agencies in The Netherlands:
AIVD -- the Dutch CIA
MIVD -- Dutch military intelligence
NSO -- the Dutch NSA
NCTB -- the Dutch Homeland Security (sort of)
If this guy really is a hacker, then it is possible that he has some connection to the NSO. AIVD does tap phones and trace internet usage, though they supposedly do so only after they have procured a court order. The agency has a reputation for concentrating on leftists and ignoring right-wing extremism.
I suspect that our would-be TV star was simply a fantasist with no actual spooky connections. However, I could be wrong. Perhaps he really did have a story to tell.
Dutch intelligence certainly has secrets that deserve airing.
For example, there was the strange case of that little-old bomb-maker Abdul Q. Kahn, father of the Pakistani nuclear program. He acquired secret information from sources in the Netherlands. Dutch authorities caught him, and then they let him go. According to former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, they did so at the insistence of a certain foreign power which he (Lubbers) did not care to name. In other words, the CIA.
The Dutch police are noted as being some of the best in the world in terms of the whole "serve and protect" thing. A friend once described it like this: In the Netherlands, 2 drunks get in a fight with bottles, the cops show up, pull them apart, bandage them up, give them a ride home and sweep up the glass. Maybe its just in the national character or maybe they all just determined that that's the kind of police they wanted.
posted by igd : 9:33 AM
"mh17?" Some people think the ongoing cover up of facts relating to MH17 is the reason why the Dutch government has been successful in repatriating large amounts of gold from New York to the Netherlands, whereas the German government has been unable to repossess theirs, and in fact have been told that they can't even look at it.
posted by Failed at being Anon : 10:42 AM
"Studio 8" and "eight high explosives". You don't think...?
He's been named now, or at least part-named, as "Tarik Z.", a chemistry student, dad Egyptian, mum Dutch.
posted by b : 12:24 PM
What items were broadcast in the next bulletin?
What items weren't broadcast, because they were pulled, so that NOS could bring us breaking news about the man with the fake gun caught on camera?
posted by b : 12:28 PM
His name is Tarik Zahzah, his father is Egyptian. tarik lives near the Hague
posted by Jan : 2:05 PM
My husband is Dutch. He says that the Dutch police knows when and how often everyone in the country farts. He also says that the Dutch believe in personal freedom in all things unless it damages the greater good of the nation. He says that they will provide all manors of rehabilitation and after that they classify you as unwanted and unworthy. At that point, there is no mercy!