AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A Pakistani man who was arrested in Holland allegedly on his way to kill an anti-Islam politician had visited an anti-Israel protest in Amsterdam shortly before heading out to the Dutch parliament.
The 26-year-old man, who was arrested Tuesday at The Hague, was pictured standing earlier this week in front of a display set up by promoters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel on Amsterdam’s Dam Square, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the man, who was not named in the Dutch media, filmed himself saying in Urdu that he was on his way to kill lawmaker Geert Wilders over the politician’s plan to hold a cartoon competition about Muhammad, the prophet who founded Islam.
“I’m in the Netherlands, about five minutes away from parliament,” the man filmed himself saying while wearing a gray camouflage coat. Wilders, he added, “is my sole target and if Allah wills it, it will succeed. The reason being that they make jokes about our prophet.”
Wilders is a strident critic of Islam, which he calls a fascist ideology. He is also a staunch supporter of Israel.
On Tuesday, the Pakistani cricket player Khalid Latif offered on Twitter a $25,000 bounty on Wilder’s head over the plan to open a cartoon contest.
Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a leader of an Islamic party in Pakistan, said his country would attack the Netherlands with nuclear weapons over the event.
In 2015, Islamists killed 17 people at the Paris office of the Charlie Hebdo satirical cartoon weekly over its ridiculing of Islam. Two days later, associates of the perpetrators killed four people at a kosher supermarket on the city’s eastern outskirts.
Wilders has received hundreds of death threats in the weeks that passed since he announced his plans for a cartoon contest. He, his home and family have been under heavy police protection for years amid numerous plots to murder him.
In 2004, filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was nearly decapitated by an Islamist who tackled him to the ground and shot him as van Gogh cycled to work in Amsterdam. The murder was part of a series of terrorist attacks planned by an Islamist cell that targeted the filmmaker for his film criticizing the treatment of women in Islam.