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(VIDEO) Dutch Gunman Arrested After Hijacking NOS TV Studio, Demanding Airtime & Threatening Bomb/Cyber Attacks If Prevented

In Archive, Netherlands, NOS on January 29, 2015 at 8:03 PM

nos-gunman

01/29/2015

A 19-year-old Dutchman with a pistol has been arrested after forcing his way into the studios of national broadcaster NOS on Thursday, demanding to be allowed to go on air.Dutch Gunman Hijacks Studio of Dutch Broadcaster NOS Demanding Airtime, Threatens Bomb/Cyber Attacks if Prevented

Wearing a black suit and tie, the man entered the studio after threatening a guard with a pistol and holding him hostage, saying bombs in different places of the Netherlands would explode if he didn’t get time on TV.

During the disruption to the NOS news program, the channel broadcast a message reading: “In connection with circumstances, no broadcast is available at this time.”

According to NOS director Jan de Jong, the gunman had a list of demands and wanted 10 minutes airtime. He had wanted to go to the main evening news studio but instead a guard took him to the studio where daytime bulletins are broadcast.

The NOS studios were evacuated for several hours as police searched the building.

When the channel came on air again, it broadcast video of the gunman wandering about the studio.

Video Translation via Sven Slootweg:

HT = Hostage Taker

S = Security guard (the ‘hostage’, presumably)
P = Police officer(s)

HT: Well, you’re staying calm, that’s pretty cool…
S: I’m just as nervous as you are…
HT: Yeah…
S: But I also just want to go home.
HT: Yeah, I understand that.
S: So I’m not going to get in your way…
HT: I understand.
S: … with the risk… yeah?
HT: Yeah.
S: And I’m happy that you also want me to go home tonight, we have to make sure that, well… I mean, this is done with a reason.
HT: Of course, yeah… I hope that you… Well, could you sit over there then, in a bit, when I start? [pause] I promise nothing will happen to you, but you see, if I’m in here on my own… they’re probably already standing outside. They might as well… the things that are going to be said here, those are very big topics. I mean, we’ve been hired by intelligence agencies, and there we’ve seen things that cast a shadow of doubt over our current society, and that’s what we’ll be publicizing here. So that’s why I already said, we’re not really such bad people. We’re also doing it for the average citizen. But that’s why it’s possible that the people ‘up there’ tell whoever’s standing outside to “well, just kill him, because nobody should hear about this”. And if I’m here on my own, there’s a pretty good chance that they think “well, we’ll just storm in and shoot holes in him”.
S: Right. I guess… I assume that the director… And well, I really hope that you won’t… if I’m sitting there…
HT: I promise, we can shake hands on that…
S: … that you don’t, in the process, take me with you.
HT: No, no, definitely not. But I’d like it if you… well, if you stay here, there’s a much smaller chance that they’d undertake such an action.
S: Right, like that.
HT: Yeah. Aside from that, when my speech is done, you’re free to go.
S: Okay, but when your speech is done, I assume you’d come outside with me…
HT: Well, I might just let them arrest me here or something… We’ll see…
S: Okay, but…
HT: Then I’ll let you outside, you can just go outside. But, I think this is taking too long.
S: [to ‘director’] “Can you hear me?” Well, the mic is live.
HT: Yeah, but isn’t there any contact with… [pause] Yeah, I don’t like how long this is taking.
S: “Anybody… director?” Well, you’ve heard it, just like me…
HT: Yeah.
S: … the microphone is working.
HT: Yeah, the microphone is working, but I need to know that we’re on live television. And I also haven’t heard anything yet from… [fiddles with ‘comms’]
S: But well… you said, you can only hear them.
HT: Yeah.
S: They can’t hear you.
HT: Yeah.
S: You know? Because you’re standing here now, with a microphone, and a camera, and it’s lighting up red, so you’re in the image, and that’s the image that’s being sent out.
HT: Yeah, but how do I know that this is also on television?
S: Yeah, exactly. You know? That’s what you need to hear from those other people, they can’t…
HT: Yeah, but just now I heard “microphone is working” or something like that- ah, there’s the police already. And they’re going to…
S: I really hope that… can I go outside?
HT: In a bit, yes, when the speech is done. [pause] He has- [now shouting] What are you going to do?
[voices in the distance, door opens]
P: Police, drop your weapon! Drop it! Drop it!
HT: Yes, yes, I’ve dropped it.
P: Get on your knees! Keep calm! Stay calm! Keep your arms free! Any suspicious movement and we’ll shoot immediately, do you understand?
HT: Yes…

The actual incident lasted around 10 minutes.

A threatening letter the gunman gave to staff, warning of bomb and cyber attacks if he was prevented from going on air, has also been released. “Realize that I am not on my own,” it says. In it he claims 98 hackers are poised to launch a cyber attack and that eight bombs containing radioactive material have been placed around the country. “If you don’t take me to studio 8 to make my broadcast, we will be forced to step into action.”

nos-gunman-letter

Letter Translation via Sven Slootweg:

When you read this, do not panic. Do not shout and don’t warn colleagues. Act like nothing is wrong. I am heavily armed. If you cooperate nicely, nothing will happen to you. Realize that I am not on my own. There are five others, plus 98 hackers who are ready for a cyber attack. Additionally, in the country eight heavy explosives have been placed that contain radioactive material. If you do not bring me to studio 8 to take over a broadcast, we will have to take action. You don’t want that on your conscience, do you? So accompany me now to Studio 8, the NOS studio.

[Below part presumably meant to be read out on a live broadcast]

We have been taken hostage by heavily armed men in Studio 8, at the Media Park Hilversum. There are more of them in the rest of the country, and they have 98 hackers ready for a cyber attack. Eight heavy explosives have also been placed in the country, containing radioactive materials. They want to do a live broadcast to share their story. If this live broadcast is interrupted in any way, they will take action. On the outside, there will be people making sure that the live broadcast can be seen throughout all of the Netherlands. Their demands are therefore, including but not limited to, 1. The building will not be stormed. 2. The live broadcast will not be delayed, not interrupted for even a single second, and not edited whatsoever. 3. To be clear; no information bar and no subtitles are to be added to the live broadcast. If the demands are complied with, we will be released. I will repeat this once more.

A reporter who spoke to the man said he had claimed to be from a “hackers’ collective,” AP reported.

NOS television said the gunman appeared to be a student who had recently lost both parents. It also said he did not figure on security services’ lists of suspected Islamist militants.

The man lives in the central Dutch town of Pijnacker, near the university town Delft, officials said, declining to provide details.

The gunman has been named on social media as Tarik Zahzah, and according to unconfirmed reports is a student of chemistry at Delft University of Technology.

Several fellow students spoke about Zahzah to Dutch media. One described him as a “quiet intelligent boy.” Another said he had not been seen for around four weeks.

The man is now being held at Hilversum police station for questioning, and his home is also being searched by authorities.

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