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A police secures the police headquarters in Copenhagen, February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Image: Reuters/H. Hanschke

Police raid Copenhagen Internet cafe

February 15, 2015

Police have carried out searches and raided an Internet cafe in Copenhagen following deadly shootings over the weekend. Danish media say at least two people have been detained.

https://p.dw.com/p/1Ec8S

Armed Danish police on Sunday raided an Internet cafe in Copenhagen as authorities investigated two deadly shootings on the weekend that left two dead and five police officers wounded.

At least two people at the cafe were taken away by police in handcuffs, according to media reports.

"It's part of our investigation," a police official told the broadcaster DR.

The raid on the cafe came hours after police told reporters they were carrying out searches in several parts of the Danish capital.

Suspect 'known to authorities'

Earlier, the head of the Danish intelligence agency PET, Jens Madsen, said the suspected gunman behind the shootings on Saturday night and early Sunday morning was known to the intelligence services prior to the shooting.

The 22-year-old gunman, who was suspected of killing two people and wounding five officers before he was shot dead by police early Sunday, had a history of assault and weapon offences and a background in criminal gangs, police said.

Although the attacker's identity has been established as a citizen born and raised in Denmark, police said they would not yet publish his name due to the ongoing investigation.

Madsen told a news conference that authorities were investigating whether the suspect had been inspired by an Islamist killing spree in Paris last month in which 17 people died. He said, however, that his agency did not believe the man had received jihadist training in the Middle East.

Police shot dead the suspect outside his apartment building after being tipped off by a taxi driver. The driver had given the man a ride after the first attack at a discussion on free speech attended by Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has received death threats for satirizing the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons.

A 55-year-old man, later identified as documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard, was killed in the attack. Three police officers were wounded.

The suspect then went on to shoot a Jewish security guard, identified as 37-year-old Dan Uzan, outside Copenhagen's main synagogue, where around 80 people were celebrating a bat mitzvah. The guard later died of his injuries. Two police officers were slightly wounded in the attack.

'Attack on democracy'

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Thorning-Schmidt: Not a conflict between Islam and the WestImage: Reuters/S. Laessoee/Scanpix

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told a televised news conference on Sunday that she was liaising with the leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Sweden.

"When the Jewish community is attacked, our democracy is attacked, the whole of Denmark is attacked," she said.

"We don't know the motive for the attacks, but we know that there are forces that want ... to crush our freedom of expression, our belief in liberty," she said, adding that it was "not a fight between Muslims and non-Muslims."

Denmark's Queen Margrethe has expressed "grief over the scope of the events" and urged citizens to "stand together."

Security threat

European governments have been increasingly concerned about the threat posed by young radicalized Muslims returning to Europe after traveling to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside violent jihadist groups such as the "Islamic State."

The three days of violence in Paris, which began with an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7, have put security forces throughout Europe on high alert.

Denmark became a target for violent Islamists after cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad were published there 10 years ago. The images led to sometimes deadly protests in the Muslim world.

Many Muslims consider it blasphemous to create any artistic depiction of the prophet.

tj/cmk (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP)

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