Attempted assassin of Rotterdam-based Pakistani activist found guilty
A former London businessman named Muhammad Gohir Khan was found guilty of conspiracy to murder an activist living in Rotterdam. Khan’s plot to assassinate Rotterdam-based Pakistani dissident Ahmad Waqass Goraya last year, but was thwarted by Dutch authorities.
Goraya, who came to the Netherlands over a decade ago, has spoken out against corruption in the Pakistani government and has a large social media following. Authorities believe he was targeted due to his political views.
Khan, 31, was offered around £100,000 (€120,000) to assassinate Goraya, according to the BBC. He was working at a supermarket at the time but had accumulated over £200,000 in debt while running a cargo company. Although Khan insisted he never meant to carry out the killing, his WhatsApp communications with a middle man told a different story.
The BBC reported Khan and the middle man Muzzamil at one point used fish metaphors to discuss the intended murder, referring to Goraya as a “little fish” and the suggested murder weapon as “little knife/hook/worm with a string.”
“Officers uncovered more than 2,000 WhatsApp messages between Muhammad Gohir Khan and his co-conspirator where they discussed and agreed to the contract killing of a Rotterdam based Pakistani blogger and activist,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
After traveling to the Netherlands in 2021, Khan staked out a location he believed to be Goraya’s address with a 19-inch knife, but he was unable to locate the activist. He was arrested by British authorities when he returned to London.
Goraya, who was tortured in Pakistan in 2017 by suspected intelligence service members, believes the same people are behind the assassination attempt in Europe, he told the BBC. Last year, he said the Dutch government should go further than just providing witness protection.
“The only solution is that the Netherlands stands up and says: Pakistan, we know what you are doing and how dare you take such actions on our soil,” Goraya said.
Khan will be sentenced on March 11, the Metropolitan Police said.