Searchlight - November 2006
A police raid in Rotterdam on 20 September uncovered a small cache of lethal weapons including a hand grenade, a mortar launcher, detonators, a shotgun and explosive materials. The raid followed the arrest of a 22-year old skinhead and a 19-year old woman who had chased an Antillean man, threatening him with a gun, a knife and a knuckle-duster.
The police immediately handed the case to the elite National Investigation Unit and the search of the house was conducted by heavily armed police and soldiers. Some days later, it emerged that a fugitive dangerous criminal, Erik Jan Quakkelsteijn, 35, had also been staying in the building's attic but had escaped on a bike. The exact connection between the arrested skinheads and Quakkelsteijn is not yet clear but it is known that he worked with explosives when robbing banks. In 2001, Quakkelsteijn went over the wall of a Rotterdam prison, where he was serving 12 years for armed robbery and was thought to be hiding in Belgium.
The Dutch secret service (AIVD) were alerted when investigators also found press clippings on terrorist attacks, photographs of the government's annual budget presentation in The Hague, photographs of several buildings and bridges in Rotterdam and The Hague and piles of right-wing extremist documents.
At Quakkelsteijn's previous hide-out, a Belgian house, police also found 17 folders with clippings on terrorist attacks and violent robberies, used according to him "to be kept updated on my work".
The possible link between right-wing extremists and violent criminals is said to be causing great concern to the AIVD even more so after it became clear that nazis from Rotterdam belonging to the National Alliance (NA) had taken part in shooting practice across the border at the Belgian army barracks in Leopoldsburg that was raided by police on 7 September. In the 7 September swoops, Belgian police arrested seventeen people, ten of them soldiers.
It has now been revealed that last year the Dutch justice department conducted research, at the request of the Belgian authorities, into the Dutch participants, including one of the NA's founders, Virginia Kapic and a former chairman of the NA's youth organisation, in the Leopoldsburg shooting practices.
In March last year, twenty Dutch nazis, including Kapic, took part in a paramilitary training exercise near Spa, organised by Blood & Honour Flanders. They camped in ten tents and had seven military vehicles at their disposal. The nazis patrolled the area, intimidating passers-by who then informed the police. A search later uncovered stiletto knives and nazi propaganda.
Meanwhile, Michael Krick, the violent German nazi who lives in the Netherlands, has been sentenced to two years and two months in prison at 5 October for attempted murder and discrimination for his involvement in a vicious assault on a black Dutch-Antillean man in Papendrecht on 20 May. Krick, 29, hit his victim over the head with a broken beer bottle and kicked him several times. Two of Krick's pals, Stefan Verkooyen, 27, and Robbie Groeneveld, 24, who intimidated the victim and did nothing to stop Krick's violence, got 16 and 14 months imprisonment respectively.
The public prosecutor thought Groeneveld was not involved in the beating and wanted to prosecute him only for possession of T-shirts with racist mottoes but the court decided differently. In the same case, Margot van Trienen, Krick's 22-year old girlfriend was fined and handed two months in prison for the possession of 54 T-shirts, with slogans like "Destroy Zionism" and "Combat 18, whatever it takes". The court decided that, through their possession of the shirts, the Nazis were willingly using symbols and slogans to insult and discriminate against Jews and to incite hatred and violence against them.
By Jeroen Bosch of Alert! and Antifa-Net in Utrecht reports