CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank said that he believe the Charlie Hebdo attacks were “quite likely” an inspiration for the shootings in Copenhagen on Monday’s “CNN Newsroom.”
“I think quite likely it’s [Charlie Hebdo] an inspiration. We saw exactly the same kind of targets in Denmark as in Paris and Paris was against a kosher market, against a cartoonist. Well, in Denmark, against an artist, who was responsible for a controversial depiction of the Prophet Mohammed and also a Bar Mitzvah party just outside a synagogue. So, very very similar targets, somebody who appears to have been radicalized in prison, was a gang member, known to Danish Security Services for being a gang member, but not for being an extremist, they didn’t know he was a radical, that was a surprise, to them, but he just got out of prison a couple of weeks ago. So, it’s quite possible he was radicalized there while he was in jail” Cruickshank stated.
He continued, “there is a particular nexus in Denmark between these gangs and jihadi circles, and for a lot of people inside the gangs, there’s sort of a jihadi mindset that they have that sort of justifies their criminality because it’s all against the infidel West and also, for some of them, sort of [a] redemption, sort born again in Islam-type dynamic that goes on. So, we’ve seen gangsters who have moved from Denmark to go and fight in Syria and Iraq.”
Cruickshank concluded, “throughout Europe, and even in the United States, there’s a real problem of prison radicalization, in Europe particularly, a lot of young Muslims are being sent to jail, and when they go to jail, some of them are mixing with these terror convicts who are spreading this ideology. It’s a real, real problem. In France now, they’re so worried about it that they’re talking about separating the general prison population from these terror convicts, so you can’t have this kind of proselytization that goes on.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett