Perpetrators in gangland assassination planned another attack: report

Chahid Yakhlaf (Photo: Politie)Chahid Yakhlaf (Photo: Politie)

The group of perpetrators suspected of assassinating Chahid Yakhlaf in Kerkdriel on 31 December 2015, planned another attack a month before Yahklaf's murder. The Public Prosecutor is accusing two of the suspected perpetrators, 38-year-old Don M. and 43-year-old Frans H., of a failed assassination that was planned to happen in Utrecht, Het Parool reports.

The perpetrators opened fire on Chahid Yakhlaf and his brother Chafik on December 31st, 2015 in Kerkdriel, Gelderland. Chahid was killed, but Chafik survived the attack. The Yakhlaf brothers are well known members of the Amsterdam underworld. In the gangland feud that resulted in the assassination of many Amsterdam criminals since 2012, the brothers belong to the group around Gwenette Martha, himself assassinated in 2014. 

Don M. is appearing in court for the first time on Tuesday. According to Het Parool, he was promised 100 thousand euros for Chahid's murder. If both brothers were killed, he would've gotten more money. 

The Prosecutor believes that Yakhlaf's assassination, and a number of other murders and attempted murders, were ordered by Omar Lkhorf - a member of the gang in rivalry with the gang around Martha. Lkhorf's brother Youssef was killed in a double assassination in Staatsliedenbuurt late in 2012, one of two incidents regarded as the start of the gang feud. 

The judiciary managed to decrypt a large amount of messages sent on so-called PGP Blackberry phones, found on a seized Canadian computer server. And through those messages the Prosecutor managed to identify the key players in a number of assassinations or attempted assassinations. It is through these messages that the judiciary got wind of the attack planned in Utrecht, also aimed at the Yakhlaf brothers. 

From Friday, October 9th, 2015, there were numerous messages about an imminent assassination attempt between the PGP the judiciary connected to Omar Lkhorf and the PGP connected to Don M. M. was in custody at the time, but was allowed leave every weekend. According to the newspaper, M. asked for more information and "two small ones and a big one" - two hand guns and an automatic weapon. Lkhorf then arranged that Hicham M. provide Don M. with what he needs. Hicham M. is currently in custody for involvement in the assassinations of Chahid Yakhlaf and another Amsterdam criminal Eaneas Lomp, in Krommenie in October 2015.

Don M. and Hicham M. arranged to meet each other in Amsterdam-Noord on Sunday, October 11th, 2015. According to the Prosecutor, Hicham M. later sent pictures of the Yakhlaf brothers to Mark M., as well as the address Amsteramsestraatweg 397 - the address of an Utrecht shisha lounge the Yakhlaf brothers frequented. The message traffic indicates that members of the Lkhorf gang observed the shisha lounge over the next days. 

On November 21st, 2015, Chafik Yakhlaf went to the police and reported that someone was planning to attack him at the shisha lounge. Chafik told the police that he visits the lounge almost every day and that "they" have it out for him and his brother. In the area around the lounge, the police found two automatic weapons, a hat with DNA traces of Frans H. and an earplug containing Mark M.'s DNA. According to the Prosecutor, Chafik's claims are in line with the PGP traffic between Lkhorf and Don M. on November 21st. 

All involved suspects deny that they sent these PGP messages.