The number of reports about potential extremists in the Danish capital Copenhagen has risen significantly in the past year.
City authorities received 100 reports about potentially radicalised residents in 2015, a 66 per cent increase on the previous year.
Copenhagen’s Deputy Mayor for Employment and Integration, Anna Mee Allerslev, claimed, however, that the rise was a positive development.
“It is actually a success parameter for us, because it means that there is trust in us and that parents, friends and acquaintances believe that they can come to us,” she said.
DR reports that the tip-offs are mostly coming from municipal employees, with Mohammed Hee, head of the city’s anti-radicalisation programme, saying state sector workers contact them when they notice “rapid behaviour changes and young people go from being just like their peers to very religious and maybe try to exercise religious control over others. Then it’s serious.”
Sometimes parents and friends of the potentially radicalised youths also get in touch.
Out of the 100 reports last year, 18 were judged to be “substantiated”, with the city authorities intervening.
Last year, two people and a suspected attacker were killed in two Islamist shootings. The first happened at a public discussion on blasphemy at which Swedish artist Lars Vilks was speaking. He was thought to be the main target due to his cartoons of Mohammed, but emerged unscathed.
A member of the public was killed, however, and three police officers injured.
A second shooting happened later that night outside Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue during a bar mitzvah celebration. A gunman killed a Jewish man on security duty and wounded two police officers.
In November, the city administration was ended its association with the Islamic Society of Denmark over concerns about the group’s links with extremism.
The group was given an ultimatum over their support for controversial hate preachers, but refused to comply, leading to the city council voting 30-21 to end the association.