The terrorist who seized Amsterdam’s highest building, the Rembrandt’s Tower, has shot himself dead. The man who seized a 35-storey business center was a 59-year-old citizen of the Netherlands. Witnesses say that the hostage-taker’s conduct revealed he was mentally deranged.
Long negotiations, lasting for several hours, resulted in nothing. It was quite unexpected when the man withdrew to the toilet and shot himself in the head.
News agencies report that the hostages are all safe. The journalists operating on the scene saw a bus escorted by police and ambulance cars take seven people from the site. They were probably the hostages.
Yesterday, PRAVDA.Ru mentioned in the article A terrorist seized Amsterdam's highest building that the hostage-taker protested against the production and sale of wide-screen television sets; he called them “a creative nonsense." The TV sets, he said, are worse than regular ones.
ORT Russian television reports that information about the number of hostages fluctuated from several people to 250. Three employees of a Dutch bank and a security guard were close to terrorist all the time, but they could do nothing, like the members of other corporations in the building, as the gunman had an explosive.
It is highly probable, the man killed himself because he had known shortly before the accident that the Philips headquarters moved from the tower to another building nearby.
No details of the tragedy have been reported so far.
The tragedy in Amsterdam occurred on March 11, six months since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC towers in New York and the Pentagon building in Washington. Offices of several American companies and banks are situated in the business center in Amsterdam.
Really, no comparison with the 9/11 attacks can be made: the terrorist was not a Muslim or an Arab, and the witnesses said he was “a white European." If any connection between the acts of September 11th and March 11th really exists, it is a mystical one. It demonstrates once again to what extent the modern society, Western as well as the Eastern, is affected.
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/12/38108.html