Amsterdam disaster averted: Car bomb targetting blogger as powerful as 40 grenades

Police reconstruction of attempted bombing on crime writer Martin Kok's car in Amsterdam on 2 July 2016
Police reconstruction of attempted bombing on crime writer Martin Kok's car in Amsterdam on 2 July 2016. Photo: Politie

If bystanders hadn't noticed something strange underneath crime writer Martin Kok's car on Amsteldijk in Amsterdam on July 2nd last year, many people may have been hurt. The explosive planted under the car had the strength of about 40 hand grenades, the police said on Tuesday after doing a reconstruction of the explosion that may have happened.

On Monday the police planted the same type of bomb on an Opel Corsa, like the one Kok was driving on July 2nd, and detonated it. Photos of the explosion show a massive ball of fire, flying shrapnel and only a husk of the car left. If the explosion detonated in front of restaurant Klein Kalfje, where it was parked that night, many people would have been hurt. The restaurant was packed with customers.

The police are still investigating the attempted bombing and those responsible. The case has top priority given the number of victims that could have been hurt, police spokesperson Esther Izaks said to Het Parool. 

The attackers' getaway car - a black Audi - was found burning in Nieuwegein later on July 2nd. The fire was extinguished before the car was burnt out completely, so the police hope that trace evidence found will be useful in the investigation. 

A 47-year-old man from Zuid-Holland was arrested on Monday on suspicion of involvement. The police believe he planted the bomb under Kok's car. The criminal Kok was having dinner with when the bomb was planted, Yassin Z., was previously arrested on suspicion that he lured Kok to the restaurant. He was released shortly after his arrest. 

Kok was on December 8th last year. He was shot and killed sitting in his car. Earlier that night he on Prinses Irenestraat in Amsterdam-Zuid. Video footage released by the police show a man walking up behind Kok, trying to shoot him and fleeing when nothing happens. Kok seemingly had no idea that this happened. 

Police reconstruction of attempted bombing on crime writer Martin Kok's car in Amsterdam on 2 July 2016
Police reconstruction of attempted bombing on crime writer Martin Kok's car in Amsterdam on 2 July 2016. Photo: Politie

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