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Mohammed Bouyeri ( ) (born 8 March 1978 in Amsterdammarker), a DutchmarkerMoroccanmarker, is currently serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh. He holds both Dutch and Moroccan citizenship. He was a member of the Hofstad Network.

Life

In 1995, Mohammed Bouyeri finished his secondary education and subsequently went on to the "INHOLLAND" in Diemenmarker. He changed his major several times and left after five years without obtaining a degree.

A second generation migrant from Morocco, Bouyeri used the pen name "Abu Zubair" for writing and translating. On the Internet he often posted letters and sent e-mail under this name.

At an early age he was known to the police as a member of a group of Moroccan "problem-youth". For a while he worked as a volunteer at Eigenwijks, a neighbourhood organization in the Slotervaart suburb of Amsterdammarker. He started to radicalize shortly after his mother died and his father re-married in the fall of 2003. The 11 September attacks and the war in Iraq contributed to his radicalization. He started to live according to strict Islamic rules. As a result he could perform fewer and fewer tasks at Eigenwijks. For example, he refused to serve alcohol and did not want to be present at activities attended by both women and men. Finally, he put an end to his activities at Eigenwijks altogether. He grew a beard and began to wear a djellaba. He frequently visited the El Tawheed mosquemarker where he met other radical Muslims, among whom were suspected terrorist Samir Azzouz. With them he is said to have formed the Hofstad Network, a Dutch terrorist cell. He claims to have murdered van Gogh to fulfill his duty as a Muslim. Serving as witness in another court case involving the Hofstad group in May 2007, Bouyeri for the time expressed in more depth his thoughts regarding Islam. Here he said that armed Jihad was the only option of Muslims in the Netherlands and that democracy was always a violation of Islam because laws cannot be produced by humans but only by Allah.

Murder of Theo van Gogh

Bouyeri murdered Van Gogh in the early morning of 2 November 2004, in Amsterdammarker, in front of the Amsterdam East borough office (stadsdeelkantoor) on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat ( ), while he was bicycling to work. Bouyeri shot van Gogh eight times with an HS 2000 handgun, and Van Gogh died on the spot. Bouyeri then cut Van Gogh's throat, nearly decapitating him, and stabbed him in the chest. Two knives were left implanted in his torso, one attaching a five-page note to his body. The note ( Text) threatened Western governments, Jews and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who went into hiding). The note also contained references to the ideologies of the Egyptianmarker organization Takfir wal-Hijra.

Arrest

On 2 November 2004, shortly after the murder of Theo van Gogh, Mohammed Bouyeri was arrested close to the scene of the crime, following an exchange of gunfire with police during which he was shot in the leg. In his interrogations, he exercised his right to remain silent. On November 11, public prosecutor Leo de Wit accused him of six criminal acts: murder, attempted murder (of a police officer), attempted manslaughter (of by-standers and police officers), violation of the law on gun-control, suspicion of participation in a criminal organisation with terrorist aims, and conspiracy to murder with a terrorist purpose Van Gogh, member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others.

When arrested, Bouyeri had on him a farewell poem with the title In bloed gedoopt from which it appears he intended to die a martyr. The poem contains the following lines:

IN BLOED GEDOOPT (Dutch original)


Dit is dan mijn laatste woord…
Door kogels doorboord…
In bloed gedoopt…
Zoals ik had gehoopt.


Ik laat een boodschap achter…
Voor jou…de vechter…
De boom van Tawheed is afwachtend…
Naar jouw bloed smachtend…
Ga de koop aan…
En Allah geeft je ruimbaan…
Hij geeft je de Tuin…
In plaats van het aardse puin.


Tegen de vijand heb ik ook wat te zeggen…
Je zal zeker het loodje leggen…
Al ga je over de hele wereld op Tour…
De dood is je op de Loer…
Op de hielen gezeten door de Ridders van de DOOD…
Die de straten kleuren met Rood.


Tegen de hypocrieten zeg ik tenslotte dit:
Wenst de DOOD of hou anders je mond en ...zit.


Beste broeders en zusters ik nader mijn einde…
Maar hiermee is het verhaal zeker niet ten einde.
DRENCHED IN BLOOD (English translation)


So this is my final word…
Riddled with bullets…
Baptized in blood…
As I had hoped.


I am leaving a message…
For you…the fighter…
The tree of Tawheed is waiting…
Yearning for your blood…
Enter the bargain…
And Allah opens the way…
He gives you the Garden…
Instead of the earthly rubble.


To the enemy I have something to say…
You will surely die…
Wherever in the world you go…
Death is waiting for you…
Chased by the knights of DEATH…
Who paint the streets with Red.


For the hypocrites I have one final word…
Wish DEATH or hold your tongue and …sit.


Dear brothers and sisters, my end is nigh…
But this certainly does not end the story.


Pinned to the body of Van Gogh with a smaller knife, Bouyeri was said to have left a second letter, consisting of five pages in which Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), and politicians in general are warned. It contains repeated references to alleged Jewish influences in politics. The letter refers to the fundamentalist ideology of the Takfir wal-Hijra. This letter probably wasn't written by Mohammed Bouyeri himself, but by his group's ideologist. It was signed Saifu Deen alMuwahhied.

Image:Afscheidsbrief.jpgImage:Open Letter to Hirshi Ali (1).jpgImage:Open Letter to Hirshi Ali (2).jpgImage:Open Letter to Hirshi Ali (3).jpgImage:Open Letter to Hirshi Ali (4).jpgImage:Open Letter to Hirshi Ali (5).jpg

Trial

Bouyeri's trial took place over two days, 11 and 12 July, 2005, in a high-security building in Amsterdammarker-Osdorp. In a letter on 8 July, he announced that he would not attend the trial voluntarily. The Prosecutor demanded of the court that he be forcibly transported to the courthouse. This request was accepted by the court. Bouyeri's lawyers did attend the trial; they did not, however, ask questions or make closing statements. Bouyeri appeared before the court carrying a Qur'an under his arm. At the trial Bouyeri expressed no remorse for the murder he admitted to having done, saying to the victim's mother: "I don’t feel your pain. I don’t have any sympathy for you. I can’t feel for you because I think you’re a non-believer." and that he would have done it again. Bouyeri also argued that "in the fight of the believers against the infidels violence is approved by the prophet Muhammad".

In the Dutch law system, a Prosecutor demands a punishment in a requisitoir. Presenting the requisitoir to the court took 4 hours, at the end of which the demand was presented. It read (unabridged):

The defendant rejects our democracy. He even wants to bring down our democracy. With violence. He is insistent. To this day. He sticks to his views with perseverance. This calls for a strong response. By literally placing him outside our democracy. This means that he will not be allowed to vote. This means deprivation of active and passive suffrage.

Taking everything into consideration, the severity of the facts, the underlying circumstances, and the personality of the defendant, I find only one punishment suitable and that is life imprisonment.


On 26 July 2005, Bouyeri received a life sentence without parole. He is presently held in Nieuw Vosseveldmarker prison.

Life imprisonment is the most severe punishment in the Netherlands and is always without parole. Bouyeri is only the 28th person to receive this punishment since 1945, excluding war criminals. A life sentence is ordinarily seen only with multiple-homicide cases, but a new law introduced in 2004 also makes the sentence applicable for leaders of terrorist organisations. In addition, the Wet terroristische misdrijven ("terrorist crimes law", in effect since August 10, 2004), also states that, if there is a terrorist motive for a crime, the term can be increased by half. Imprisonments ordinarily in excess of 15 years can be upgraded to life imprisonment, as was the case with Bouyeri.

References

  1. Terror on Trial: First hand report on the Hofstadgroep trial by Emerson Vermaat
  2. The Secret Life of Mohammed Bouyeri
  3. Gunman kills Dutch film director, retrieved July 21, 2009
  4. Jan Kanter: Mohammed B. schweigt, Die Welt, July 12, 2005
  5. Anthony Browne: Muslim radical confesses to Van Gogh killing in court tirade, The Times, 12 July 2005
  6. Jan Kanter: Van-Gogh-Mörder hält Attentat für Waffe im Glaubenskampf, Die Welt, February 3, 2006
  7. Requisitoir in de strafzaak tegen Mohammed B. (Indictment of the criminal case against Mohammed B.) (Waybacked).


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