Britain’s Foreign Office has warned travellers that terror attacks are “likely” in Denmark amid the Islamic backlash to burnings of the Qur’an as Sweden has increased its terror threat level.
In updated travel advice, the UK Foreign Office said on Friday: “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Denmark. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners.”
The warning comes amid increased concerns throughout the region of potential Islamist retaliation over several highly public burnings of the Qur’an. The Danish government has even considered introducing anti-blasphemy-style legislation to prevent the burning of the Muslim holy book outside embassies in the country in an attempt to quell the outrage.
It also came as Sweden raised its terror threat level to “high” from “elevated” for the first time since 2016. Announcing the decision, the head of the Swedish Security Service (Sapo) Charlotte von Essen said per Aftonbladet: “Today I have made the decision to raise the terror threat level from an elevated to a high threat, we are going from a three to a four on the five-point scale.”
She said that the decision to raise the terror threat level was not prompted by intelligence of a single imminent attack but rather by Sweden becoming a “priority” target for Islamic terrorists.
Von Essen said that while a main factor for the increased threat was anger over the Qur’an burnings, it was also impacted by outrage in the Islamic community over the government’s LVU (the Care of young persons special provisions act) campaign that takes vulnerable children into social care, which Islamic critics claim disproportionately impacts Muslim children.
Warning to Swedish Tourists Abroad: You May be a Terror Target After Qur’an Burningshttps://t.co/oxQI1N10pf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 14, 2023
The last time the terror threat level was set at “high” in Sweden was in 2016 following the ISIS attack on the Bataclan Theatre in Paris in which 130 people were killed by ISIS terrorists. During the time, ISIS called for terror attacks throughout Europe, as terrorists infiltrated EU countries amid the European Migrant Crisis.
In addition to raising the terror threat level, Swedish authorities are also considering changes to the public order act in order to prohibit the burning of the Qur’an if it is deemed a threat to national security. This would be a radical departure for the country, which has hitherto maintained that its citizens have the right to burn the Islamic holy book as a part of their freedom of expression.
Minister of Justice Gunnar Strommer said that he would be pannel a commission to consider expanding police powers to block the form of protest. However, he claimed that there would have to be a high bar for making such a determination, saying: “Of course, general international dissatisfaction or vague threat should not be enough – it must be about serious and qualified threats.”
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the leader of the Dutch chapter of the anti-Islamist Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (PEGIDA), Edwin Wagensveld tore up a copy of the Qur’an outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague on Friday.
According to a report from the Der Telegraaf, Islamic counterprotesters hurled stones at the activist while shouting “shame on you”. Wagensveld, for his part, was reported as saying that the Turkish embassy doesn’t “belong here” and that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a “son of a whore”.
In the wake of the protest, Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz said that she may have to raise the terror threat in The Netherlands like Sweden has already done. Yesilgöz said that she “personally finds destroying or burning a book rather primitive and sad” but “it’s allowed in our country, you have that freedom.”
Denmark Set to Ban Burning of Qur’an Amid Islamist Protests in Middle Easthttps://t.co/zUc8KVG1ns
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 1, 2023