2 Men Suspected of Helping Copenhagen Gunman Are Arrested

16.02.2015 13:55

suspected of helping the 22-
year-old gunman responsible
for killing a documentary
filmmaker and a guard in
Copenhagen in a rare
outbreak of terrorism have
been arrested, the Danish
police said on Monday.
The two men, who were not
identified, were detained on
Sunday in raids in Norrebro,
the neighborhood where the
gunman was killed by officers
as he opened fire, the police
said. The Danish news media
reported that the two men
were being held on suspicion
of assisting the gunman by
giving him shelter and
getting rid of a weapon.
The authorities had
previously said the gunman
appeared to have operated
on his own, but heavily
armed officers spread out on
Sunday through Norrebro,
where he was believed to
have lived, searching
apartments and raiding an
Internet cafe.
Danes responded to the
attack with a mixture of
regret and resolve. Mourners
paid tribute to the victims by
depositing flowers and
candles at the sites of the
killings, and Prime Minister
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
vowed to “defend our
democracy and Denmark.”
But the attacks, which came
only weeks after a three-day
onslaught in the Paris area
that left 17 dead, and police
raids in Belgium a week later,
heightened concerns about
terrorism in Europe.
The gunman, identified in
Danish news reports as Omar
Abdel Hamid El-Hussein,
appears to have shared some
traits with at least two of the
militants responsible for the
Paris violence — notably a
criminal record and an
abrupt transition from street
crime to Islamic militancy.
The Copenhagen police have
not publicly identified the
gunman, saying only that he
was 22 years old, was born
and raised in Denmark, and
was known to law
enforcement officers because
of gang-related activity and
several criminal offenses
linked to weapons violations
and violence.
Copenhagen’s dense network
of video surveillance cameras
captured the gunman as he
moved from one place to the
next, and the police released
several images of him on
Monday. They appealed for
any witnesses to come
forward with information.
“We are especially interested
in witnesses who observed
the alleged offender
regarding his whereabouts at
the first crime scene,” the
police said in a statement.
There was a large gap in time
between the first killing,
when the gunman opened
fire Saturday afternoon at a
cafe that was hosting a
discussion on caricatures and
freedom of speech, and the
slaying shortly after midnight
of a Jewish man guarding the
entrance to the city’s main
Copenhagen’s Jewish
community has long been
integrated into society, but
religious leaders said that in
the wake of recent attacks
they had asked Danish
authorities to reassess the
threat level against them. On
Saturday, as word spread of
the attack on the cafe that
killed the film director Finn
Norgaard, 55, and wounded
three officers, Jewish leaders
requested police protection
for the synagogue.
Other countries in Europe
responded to the
Copenhagen attacks with
increased vigilance. In
Germany, the authorities
called off a carnival parade
in the central German city of
Braunschweig on Sunday,
citing evidence of what they
called a “specific threat of an
Islamic attack.” The Swedish
authorities said on Monday
that they were considering
raising their country’s terror
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
of France said the threat of
militant attacks remained
“particularly high” after the
shootings in Copenhagen. He
told RTL radio on Monday
that the exceptional security
measures, which involve
about 10,000 military
personnel protecting public
sites, would be kept in place
as long as needed.
Mr. Valls also vowed to
protect French Jews, after
more than 200 tombs were
damaged at a Jewish
cemetery near Strasbourg on
Benjamin Netanyahu, the
Israeli prime minister, cited
the attack at the Copenhagen
synagogue as further
grounds for European Jews to
emigrate to Israel.
Ms. Thorning-Schmidt
rejected the Israeli leader’s
call, insisting that the
country’s Jewish community
was an essential part of
Danish society.
“They belong in Denmark,”
Ms. Thorning-Schmidt said on
Sunday, as she laid flowers at
a memorial to the slain
Jewish guard, Dan Uzan, 37.
“They are a strong part of our
community, and we will do
everything we can to protect
the Jewish community in our