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ICG Risk Blog - [ November 3, 2004 ]

Copycat killings from Iraq to Europe


"Don't do it. Don't do it. Have mercy. Have mercy!"... [The killer fired] eight or nine times, then calmly bent over his victim and slit his throat with a knife... The shooter stayed next to him and waited. Waited to make sure he was dead... Two knives were left in his body, one pinning a note to his chest [containing] quotations in Arabic from the Koran. -- multiple sources

Not Iraq or Afghanistan, but Amsterdam, Netherlands. Not a publicly ordained fatwa as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued against Salman Rushdie in 1989, sending Rushdie into a decade of hiding, but an unannounced terrorist attack by a Muslim faithful against a very public figure in Dutch free speech and artistic circles, Theo Van Gogh.

As noted in European anti-terrorist arms likely "not winning" their struggle, the Director General of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), Sybrand van Hulst, commented that the Netherlands can expect to live with the threat of Islamic terrorism for years to come, and that, "those fighting terrorism are not winning. There is not even a prospect of winning":

The AIVD is surveilling mosques of imams preaching a radical agenda as well as a larger group of imams who track to "old-style Islamic laws and stood aloof from the values of Western society in their teachings." [There is] a constantly changing group of 150 people in the Netherlands with links to terrorist networks, but they are harder to catch. "The networks in question are becoming increasingly more autonomous, regional or even local in nature. Their members have already spent years living in the West. These networks are linked by an array of international and undefined relationships."

As Theo Van Gogh discovered on an Amsterdam bicycle path. The great-grand-nephew of the painter Vincent van Gogh, Theo van Gogh was a lightening rod for controversy and free speech who had annoyed Christian and Jewish groups well before Muslims. Evidence of his engaging but prickly nature was his "habit of giving guests on his talk show a cactus as a gift."

Only Muslims killed him, apparently for a TV short, "Submission," that "told the fictional story of a Muslim woman forced into a violent marriage, raped by a relative and brutally punished for adultery." Aired on Dutch TV this August, the "English-language film was scripted by [a female] Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament, [who] has repeatedly outraged fellow Muslims by criticizing Islamic customs and the failure of Muslim families to adopt Dutch ways."

The killer was a 26-year-old "suspected Muslim extremist" with dual Moroccan-Dutch citizenship. He wore traditional Muslim garb and a long beard at the time of the attack. Seven other Moroccan, Algerian, and Spanish-Moroccan nationals were detained in the wake of the killer's arrest:

Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said the suspect "acted out of radical Islamic fundamentalist convictions"... had contacts with a group that was under surveillance by the Dutch secret service. The suspect allegedly is friends with Samir Azzouz, an 18-year-old Muslim of Moroccan origin awaiting trial on charges of planning a terrorist attack targeting a nuclear reactor and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, NOS Dutch television reported. Azzouz was among those arrested in October 2003 but released for lack of evidence. He was re-arrested in June.

I recommend readers to Radical resident Euro-Mulsims preach overthrow and jihad

Openly preached in radical mosques in the UK and elsewhere in Europe: Muslims will no longer be restrained from attacking the Western countries that now host them if bin Laden's Euro-neutrality offer is spurned. "All Muslims of the West will be obliged [to] become his sword" This traffic rarely makes it to our shores. Save for the sermons of the [few], we do not have this level of public venom from Muslim sheiks within our borders. Some of these imams have been inciting youths "to suicidal violence since the 1990's," yet have escaped deportation by working the legal system against itself. Stronger antiterrorism laws have not made a dent, thus authorities have been reduced to mouse-trapping on immigration violations but those efforts often fail due to the liberal nature of such laws in Europe.

I believe that we are on the cusp of more of this in Europe, and was in fact surprised that Abdelrahman al-Rashid, now managing director of the satellite channel al-Arabiya, was not attacked for his scathing attack on Muslim clerics who justify the killing of the innocent in the name of jihad.

Dutch anger at Islamist link to brutal van Gogh murder
Anthony Browne in Brussels
Times (UK)
November 04, 2004

Muslim row filmmaker 'murdered'
November 2, 2004

Gordon Housworth

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