Attack on Dutch newspaper ordered from within prison: report

Volkswagen Caddy crashed into De Telegraaf building on Basisweg in Amsterdam, 26 July 2018
Volkswagen Caddy crashed into De Telegraaf building on Basisweg in Amsterdam, 26 July 2018Photo: Politie

Criminal Iliass K. ordered a group of criminals from within his prison cell to commit an attack on the editorial office of De Telegraaf in Amsterdam last year. He did this with the help of phones smuggled into the prison, De Telegraaf writes based on confidential documents from an investigation file around what seems to be a kind of employment agency for organized crime that the police busted in April

The 26Wheeling investigation file shows that K. is suspected of being the order giver for this underworld employment agency. He managed to "effortlessly" give orders from his jail cell, according to the newspaper. He was in contact with two individuals who the Dutch authorities believe are the leaders of this underworld employment agency. 

A total of 13 suspects were arrested in the underworld employment agency bust in early April. Nine of them are still in custody. According to the Public Prosecutor, this group stole cars and prepared them for committing crimes. One of these crimes was the attack on De Telegraaf building. And three of the suspects are also suspects in the attack. In June last year a delivery van crashed into the facade of the building on Basisweg at considerable speed. The driver and an accomplice fled, after which the van caught fire. 

Iliass K. has been in custody for some time. He is suspected of three assassinations, including the mistaken identity murder of Stefan Eggermont in Amsterdam in 2014. K. managed to keep contact with the underworld employment agency through phones smuggled into prison, including by being thrown over prison gates and walls, according to the Telegraaf. "Both Bilal el H. and Nabil D. made contact between them possible by throwing phones over the prison wall", the documents read. 

Vehicles from the 26Wheeling investigation were also linked to the murder of 17-year-old Mohamed Bouchikhi in January 2018, according to the newspaper. The teenager was gunned down at a community center in Amsterdam where he worked as an intern. He was not the intended target of the attack. 

The documents in the 26Wheeling file also state that K. is closely linked to the Netherlands' most wanted fugitive Ridouan Taghi, the newspaper writes. Taghi is suspected of orchestrating multiple assassinations. The Public Prosecutor also previously linked Taghi to the attack on the Telegraaf.