Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Theo Van Gogh

Death List Refuge
— New Chapter

Soon after Mohammed Bouyeri's arrest, MP's Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders went into hiding, hoping to avoid a fate similar to Van Gogh. According to the death list found on Van Gogh's remains, they were next in line to be killed, followed by the names of other prominent Dutch citizens who openly criticized Islam. Even though Bouyeri and other members of the Hofstad Network terror cell had been arrested, the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD suspected that there were other group members still at large who could carry out the ritualistic slaughters of those on the list.

Consequently, Ali found temporary refuge at an American Marine base in Maine, where she remained under tight security for 75 days before returning to work in the Netherlands. When not at work, she spent most of her time shuffling between various safe places, including military bases and hotels, Marlise Simons reported in the New York Times. Wilders, like others on the list remained in the Netherlands under heavy guard but unlike the rest, he spent his evenings "deprived of friends and family" at the high security prison Camp Zeist.

Jermaine Walters
Jermaine Walters

The security measures may have seemed drastic but in this case it was clearly a matter of life and death. New information found at the workplace of an alleged terror suspect identified as Jermaine Walters, 17, revealed a plot to murder Ali during New Year's 2005 celebrations. Jermaine was a roommate of Bouyeri and the brother of another Hofstad member, Jason Walters, who was arrested during the terror siege in The Hague after having allegedly thrown a hand grenade at a police officer, reported in a January 2005 article. Jermaine allegedly learned of Ali's whereabouts on the night in question from a 34-year-old Dutchman Othman Ben Amar. Surprisingly, Ben Amar worked for AIVD as an editor and interpreter for their Islamic Terrorism Centre, and allegedly leaked state secrets to Jermaine, as well as other Islamic extremists over the period of a year, said. Needless to say, both men were promptly arrested and are currently awaiting trial.


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