Copenhagen police say they “averted a terrorist attack” Thursday with the arrest of a man with alleged Islamist motives in the morning.
A “coordinated police action” took place in the Danish capital city Thursday, allowing the security services to thwart “a terror attack with a militant Islamic motive”, they said.
A joint press conference between Copenhagen Police and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service Thursday afternoon on the front steps of the city’s central police station was frustratingly short of detail, reports national newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which noted even the officers speaking accepted that the event was predominantly refusing to answer journalist’s questions.
Nevertheless, they revealed the man they arrested earlier Thursday had a “militant Islamist motive” and was “suspected of attempting to obtain firearms and ammunition to carry out a terrorist operation somewhere.” Nevertheless, the spokesman said: “You must not doubt that [the Danish Security and Intelligence Service’s] efforts have made us avert a terrorist attack.”
Denmark, a small northern European state with less than six million, has seen a number of terrorist incidents and plots frustrated by the security services in recent years. In 2015, Copenhagen was hit by a radical Muslim gunman who attacked first a freedom of speech event and secondly a Jewish museum in the city.
The country’s liberal attitude to freedom of speech appears to be a massive aggravating factor for Islamists in the nation, with cartoonists and newspapers daring to criticise Islam becoming the targets for violence. These events follow from the publication in Jyllands-Posten in 2005 and 2006 a series of cartoons of Islamic prophet Muhammad.
A large terror cell was raided by the Danish Security and Intelligence Service in 2019 when 20 people were arrested. All were described to have “a militant, Islamist motive”, and were said to be acquiring firearms and explosives.
Earlier this year, a radical Islamic extremist who plotted to massacre the staff of the Jyllands-Posten in 2010 was released from a Swedish prison. It was reported at the time that the man was given his freedom despite having continued to plot attacks while in jail, with instructions on how to make a bomb and a map of Copenhagen’s public transportation system being found in his cell.