Armed man caught in bid to hold television station hostage

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An armed man tried to hold the production facility of television broadcaster NOS hostage in an unsuccessful attempt to get airtime Thursday evening. Police captured the man and took him into custody, video from the broadcaster showed later Thursday night. The suspect is reportedly 19-year-old Tarik Z. from Zoetermeer, but now living in Pijnacker, Zuid-Holland. He is accused of unlawful detention, making threats and weapon possession, police stated Thursday night. However, the gun Z. held was actually fake, police later said. The offices of NOS at the Media Park in Hilversum were evacuated. As of 8:45 p.m., police were still searching the building as the investigation is ongoing. "At the Journaalplein the suspect was arrested," police said on Twitter. "The area is still closed off, the detectives are investigating." An image on Twitter allegedly shows the letter the man used to demand access to the building. "I am heavily armed," the letter states. "If you readily cooperate, then nothing will happen. Be aware that I am not on my own." In it, he claims that there are eight radioactive bombs planted around the Netherlands. The man, dressed in a dark suit, was seen on the NOS news set. He has his in his hands what appears to be a pistol with something that looks like a silencer on the gun barrel. While pacing back and forth waiting to deliver his broadcast, he spoke with a person at the door. “If I finish my speech I will let you go. If I let you go [now] I’ll get pinched or something," the hijacker said. "I think this is taking to long. Is there no contact? This, I think is taking too long."

Two of the three national television channels went off the air during the incident. The NOS news was set to broadcast on NPO 1, and displayed a still graphic asking viewers to please wait as the news could not be delivered. At the same time, NPO 2 also went dark, showing no image or graphics. A Grip 1 had been declared at 8:05 p.m. calling for the coordination of emergency service providers under a single Incident Command Post, with consultation from the mayor of Hilversum, the Fire Department Regional Commander, the District Chief of Police, and the Director of Public Health. The alarm was increased to a Grip 2 emergency response at about 8:26 p.m. bringing more police and fire leadership, and an increase in medical personnel to the scene. It also requires the mayor to assemble a municipal team to assist in the city’s response. NOS went on the air from their small studio in Den Haag at about 9:00 p.m. NOS staffers were allowed back in the studio before 10:30 p.m.   The letter allegedly presented by the suspect to gain access into the NOS broadcast building: When you read this, do not panic. Do not go screaming and also do not tell your colleagues. Pretend there's nothing to be concerned about. I am heavily armed. If you readily cooperate, then nothing will happen. Be aware that I am not on my own. There are still [many, many] hackers who are ready for a cyber attack. Moreover, there are eight heavy explosives which contain radioactive material placed around this country. If you do not bring me to Studio 8 to take part in a broadcast, we will be forced to take action. You do not want to have that on your conscience, right? [something illegible, referencing an escort to NOS studio 8] We are being held hostage by heavily armed men in Studio 8, Media Park, Hilversum. There are more of them on the rest of the property, and they have 98 hackers standing by for a cyber attack. Also there are eight heavy explosives placed around the country; these contain radioactive material. They want to make a live broadcast to make their story told. If this live broadcast is disturbed in any way, they will move into action. From the outside the the live broadcast is being monitored through out the Netherlands. Their conditions thus include: 1. This building will not be stormed. 2. The live broadcast will not be delayed, will not be interrupted for a second and will not be edited. 3. For the purposed of clarity there will be no information bar and also no subfiles added on the live broadcast. If the conditions are met, we will be release. I will repeat it again one time [repeat]