January 30, 2015
A Dutch TV journalist has been held hostage by an Arabic looking gunman on live television.
A 19-year-old Dutchman with a pistol forced his way into the studios of the national broadcaster NOS on Thursday demanding to be allowed to go on air, but was quickly arrested, officials said.
Wearing a black suit and tie, the man entered the studio after threatening a guard with a pistol, witnesses said. It was unclear how he passed through security, which was increased after the attacks in Paris earlier this month.
Footage aired on Dutch TV showed the man pacing in the studio with a black pistol behind his back.
He had intended to speak to the country on the most popular evening news broadcast, but was led to an empty studio by a quick-thinking security guard.
“This is taking too long,” the man said. Then police stormed into the studio yelling, “Drop it! Drop it! And get on your knees!”. He dropped the gun, saying, “I dropped it. It’s dropped”, and the police put handcuffs on him and took him away.
The man lives in the central Dutch town of Pijnacker, near the university town Delft, officials said, declining to provide details. They refused to comment on media reports that he was a student whose parents had recently died and that he was not on a watchlist of Islamist militants.
He was being questioned and could be charged with kidnapping, possession of a firearm and threatening people with a weapon, prosecutor Johan Bac said at a press conference.
No one was hurt, but the NOS television broadcaster canceled its two main nightly newscasts.
The man’s motive was unclear; the NOS footage showed him saying, “The things that are going to be said (pause) those are very large world affairs. We were hired by the security service.”