Terror arrests in Copenhagen

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has today arrested four individuals suspected of preparing a terror attack in Copenhagen. The arrests were made in a flat at the address of Mørkhøjvej in Herlev, and at a flat at the address Hedelyparken in Greve.

Prior to the arrests, monitoring and investigations have been carried out for some time in close co-operation between the Swedish Security Service, SÄPO, and PET.

Three of the arrested male individuals are residing in Sweden and have entered Denmark during the night of 28 and 29 December 2010. The three individuals are:

  • A 44-year-old Tunisian national;
  • A 29-year-old Swedish national, born in Lebanon;
  • A 30-year-old Swedish national, whose country of origin is so far unknown.

The last of the four individuals arrested is residing in Denmark. This is a 26-year old Iraqi asylum applicant.

Simultaneously with the arrests in Denmark, the Swedish authorities in Stockholm have arrested a 37-year old Swedish national of Tunisian origin.

In connection with the arrests in Denmark, searches have been made during which several objects have been seized including some plastic strips that can be used as hand cuffs as well as a machine gun with matching silencer and live ammunition.

On the basis of the investigation in this case, it is the assessment of PET that the individuals arrested were preparing a terror attack directed against a newspaper which according to PET could be the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen. Likewise, it is also the assessment that the attack should have been carried out one of the next days.

In connection with the arrests, the Director General of PET, Jakob Scharf, makes the following statement:

"With these arrests we have succeeded in repelling an imminent terror attack. Allegedly, several of the suspects whom must be considered militant Islamists with relations to international terror networks would have attempted to force their way into the office of Jyllands-Posten or Politiken in Copenhagen and to kill as many as possible of the persons present. The arrests underline the seriousness of the terror threat directed against Denmark and particularly against institutions and individuals related to the cartoon case. We have succeeded in repelling the specific terror plans as a result of very extensive and demanding investigation efforts in Sweden as well as in Denmark and also particularly because of a very efficient co-operation between the Swedish Security Service and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service."

It is the assessment of PET that the planned terror attack has been prevented as a result of the arrests and consequently, this case will not lead to an amended assessment of the terror threat against Denmark.

The persons arrested will be charged with attempt at terrorism as according to Section 114, cf. Section 21 of the Danish Penal Code.

It is expected that a preliminary examination in court will be held tomorrow on 30 December 2010 with the purpose of remanding the individuals in custody. After the hearing in court, the continued investigation of this case will be carried out by the local Copenhagen police in close co-operation with PET and relevant Swedish authorities. It cannot be precluded that in connection with the continued investigations of this case, further arrests may be made.