Teen who stormed Dutch TV says he acted alone

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A teen who stormed the studios of Dutch national TV demanding airtime before being arrested, has told detectives that he acted alone and had no links to terror networks, police said Friday.

The 19-year-old who forced his way into the NOS public broadcaster's building Thursday evening armed with a fake gun "confessed he acted alone and not on behalf of any organisation," a police statement said.

"That includes any terror organisation," it added.

The teen, identified by local media as Tarik Z, appeared before an investigating judge Friday evening and was ordered to be held in custody for two weeks.

Dressed in a suit and tie, he had claimed when he entered the NOS headquarters in the city of Hilversum that he represented a hackers' collective.

He also claimed in a letter that he had planted explosives and that his group was poised to launch a major cyber attack in the Netherlands.

But on Friday police said he confessed "there was no cyber attack (planned), just as there weren't any explosives."

"We're still investigating what brought the man to these actions," police said.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after a weekly Cabinet meeting that the incident - coming three weeks after the attack on the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead - showed the need to remain vigilant.

Former classmates described Tarik Z. as a "normal guy", but one fascinated by conspiracy theories.

"Clever, pleasant and a bit of a loner, but certainly not a crazy guy," one of the teen's former classmates at Delft Technical University told the daily Algemeen Dagblad.

Another classmate told the NOS public broadcaster that the teen, seemingly normal, had a rich imagination and was "often in his own world."

"In recent years he was interested in conspiracy theories involving the Free Masons and a 'new world order'," the student said.

Several students told the Algemeen Dagblad they believe Tarik Z may have pulled the stunt in order to gain access to a student society, but that could not be confirmed.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.