Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stratfor on Status of Van Gogh Investigation

. . . Minutes after the Nov. 2 assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands arrested alleged triggerman Mohammed Bouyeri. Within two days, eight other young Muslims of North African descent were in custody, and by Nov. 13, less than two weeks after the killing, authorities had detained a total of 13 suspects on terrorism charges in connection with the case.

Dutch authorities say Bouyeri and his associates form part of a group called the Hofstad Network, led by Syrian spiritual leader Redouan al-Issar. Authorities acknowledge they had been investigating Bouyeri, but called off their surveillance of him some two weeks before van Gogh's murder. In fact, Bouyeri was detained in October 2003, but was released after police determined that, despite jihadist material found in his home, he was not an immediate threat. The short time span between the suspension of surveillance and the attack against van Gogh suggests Bouyeri could have been aware he was being watched -- and simply waited for the opportune moment to attack. . .


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