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Armed assailant enters the Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPO) building

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By Mete Erdurcan.

On the evening of Thursday January 29th an armed assailant entered the building of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting and threatened the staff with a gun.

The assailant was dressed in formal wear, and demanded a few minutes of live broadcast on the 8 o’clock evening news. It was unclear what the goal of the assailant was, and on behalf of which group he operated.

He stated that he represented a hacker group, also stating that there were explosives. The letter that the assailant brought contained the statement that he worked together with five plus ninety-eight hackers and that in case the NPO would not give their full cooperation, they would ignite 8 heavy bombs containing nuclear material. The demands were as follow:

  • the building will not be entered by the police
  • the broadcast will not be interrupted or slowed down
  • the broadcast will not be subtitled

‘In case the demands will be met, every hostage shall be released’, the letter stated. The assailant managed to get into a broadcasting studio and was filmed while talking to the director, while holding a gun.

When the police entered the studio, he swiftly let go of his gun and gave the police the opportunity to arrest him. In fear of possible explosives the building was cleared and searched.

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