Denmark: Police Bust Nationwide Militant Islamic Terrorist Group

Police cars are parked in front of houses in Aalborg on December 11, 2019 during a police action based on suspicions of preparations of terror attacks with militant Islamist motive. (Photo by Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT (Photo by HENNING BAGGER/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) arrested 20 people in a series of nationwide raids in connection to a planned terrorist attack in Denmark with “a militant, Islamist motive”.

Six men and two women will appear in a Copenhagen court over their alleged role in the Islamic terrorist plot, accused of acquiring bomb-making materials and attempting to procure firearms.

The remaining twelve suspects have been reportedly released. The reason for their release is currently unknown, according to the Danish newspaper Berlingske.

The arrests were made in seven police districts across the country including Copenhagen, Copenhagen’s West Region, Central and Western Zealand, Funen, Central and West Jutland, East Jutland and North Jutland.

“The reason for that (the police action) is that they have, among other things, obtained [ingredients] to manufacture explosives. They have tried to procure firearms”, Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Jørgen Bergen Skov said late Wednesday.

“PET has carried out an intensive intelligence operation based on the suspicion that several people were preparing for a terrorist attack. Those persons are arrested and charged.

“We believe that these individuals are driven by a militant Islamist motive. We look very seriously at a case like this one, which unfortunately confirms that there are people in the country who have both the intentions and the capacity to commit terror in Denmark”, he concluded.

Justice Minister Nick Hekkerup said: “On the one hand, I welcome the result. On the other hand, it indicates that we are a country under threat of terror and that we need to be vigilant.”

Denmark has been grappling with threats from Islamists since the Muhammad cartoons crisis in 2005 and 2006, in which a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, released cartoons depicting the prophet Muhamed. The publication of a likeness of Muhamed, a blasphemous act in the Islamic tradition, sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, leaving some 200 people dead.

The latest assessment of the terror threat against Denmark, conducted by the nation’s Center for Terror Analysis (CTA), concluded that the biggest terrorist threat in Denmark comes from Islamic Jihadists.

“The CTA considers that the terrorist threat to Denmark comes mainly from people with sympathy for militant Islamism. These are motivated by a perception that Islam is under attack from the West and that Denmark is a legitimate target as a result of Denmark’s active foreign and security policy, including participation in the international coalition against IS, and perceived violations of Islam, such as the drawing case”, the report said.

In 2017, police in Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus, introduced a “hug a terrorist” scheme, in an attempt to quash terrorism with “empathy”.

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