Tighter security at Hilversum Media Park

In the wake of the hostage incident at NOS TV station, authorities have said that they would be beefing up security at the Media Park in Hilversum even more.

The incident was foiled as police officers quickly arrived on scene. After the incidents in Paris and Belgium earlier this month, regular patrols were already keeping watch on the park. The special patrols are being coordinated by a “team media,” it was announced at a press conference late on Thursday night.

The armed man, identified as 19-year-old Tarik Z, has been taken into custody at the police station in Hilversum, while police started an investigation at a palm farm in the Pijnacker neighborhood where he was said to be living. Tarik was born in Zoetermeer, at a 15-minute drive from The Hague.

Police confirmed early Friday morning that the gun Z. held was fake.

He is enrolled in his first year at the technical university (TU) in Delft. “He always seemed like a normal guy with interests in the usual things … I never had the impression that he had any ideologist or extremist tendencies. He certainly did not strike me as someone who would do something like this out of religious considerations. I was shocked when I saw him on TV,” Robin, a classmate told NOS journal later in the evening. He was not sure of Tarik’s nationality.

Throughout the conference public prosecutor Johan Bac remained reluctant to give out too much information, but Tarik’s name and even a Facebook that seemed like his made it onto public domain relatively fast. Bac said a “large scale” investigation would be carried out into what drove the young man.

NOS Editor in Chief Marcel Gelauff called the incident “shocking.” He said he could not fathom that something like that could have happened. “The building is heavily secured with passes and sluices that you have to go through. But it is difficult to ward off someone with a gun.” Gelauff said the incident impacts the entire public broadcasting sector.