Dutch police foil attack on El Al plane

Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent allegedly intended to shoot down aircraft.

el al plane 88 (photo credit: )
el al plane 88
(photo credit: )
A Dutch terrorism suspect arrested in October allegedly hoped to shoot down an El-Al airliner at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, a Netherlands television program reported Friday, citing police and secret service documents. Samir Azzouz, 19, was one of seven suspects arrested in four Dutch cities on Oct. 14 on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack. Azzouz, the son of Moroccan immigrants, was acquitted in April of accusations he had planned to attack a Dutch nuclear reactor. His lawyer, Victor Koppe, has said he is also not guilty of the latest allegations reported by the television program Nova. Prosecution spokesmen could not immediately be contacted Friday to confirm the authenticity of the Nova report. Nova said it had seen a police dossier of evidence against Azzouz, including reports from intelligence agencies and a video Azzouz allegedly recorded for his family and friends before an attack in which he expected to die. According to the Netherlands intelligence service, the suspect enlisted the cooperation of two employees at an office near Schipool in order to perform reconnaissance. They also acquired weapons. Reports revealed that Azuz, apparently expecting to die while bringing down the airplane, had prepared a videotape saying goodbye to his parents. The Dutch National prosecutor's office earlier had confirmed the existence of a video testament, and said Azzouz's group was trying to buy weapons and explosives. On its Web site, Nova posted what it said was a full transcript of the alleged video testament and other evidence. The program cited Amsterdam's municipal intelligence agency as saying in a message sent to police on Aug. 2 that Azzouz and his alleged co-conspirators "want to shoot an El-Al airplane out of the air." The same agency sent another message to police on Aug. 8 saying the group had recruited two employees at a Federal Express office near the airport to help with reconnaissance, Nova said. In the video transcription on Nova's Web site, Azzouz was quoted as calling the Netherlands' government "crusaders who supported Bush." He also threatened "the Dutch people," Nova said. "You saw the images from the prisons of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, what they do there. You will be held responsible for this," he was quoted as saying. "We will, by Allah, take revenge ... you are considered soldiers because you elected this government ... We will spill your blood here as you helped steal the riches of the Muslims in Israel."