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Terrorism and extremism

One of our main tasks is to prevent and deter terrorism in Denmark. PET assesses that the terrorist threat to Denmark is significant. This means that there is a known threat to Denmark and Danish interests abroad and that there is intent, planning and capability among individuals or groups to commit a terrorist attack against Denmark.


Militant Islamists continue to pose the main terrorist threat to Denmark. Militant Islamism is an Islamist ideology legitimizing the use of violence to achieve political, religious or ideological ends. For many years, the threat from militant Islamism has dictated the activities of PET.


The most likely militant Islamist terrorist attack in Denmark is an attack carried out with easily accessible means, firearms or improvised explosive devices by a small group or a lone actor inspired by militant Islamist propaganda.


Aside from the terrorist threat from militant Islamism, Denmark also faces a terrorist threat from right- and left-wing extremism. Extremists are characterized by their will to use violence or commit other illegal acts in order to change existing social conditions. PET assesses that the threat from right-wing extremists in Denmark, set at the level of general, is currently higher than the threat from left-wing extremists, which is at the level of minimal. 


Threats also emanate from other extremist and radicalized environments. Thus, the focus of PET is directed towards individuals, groups and environments which may have the will to use violence to promote a political agenda. Such groups and environments include conspiracy theorists, climate extremists and gender extremists, such as incels, who may inspire acts that may be characterized as terrorism.


In addition, terrorist financing poses a threat, as funding improves the ability of terrorist groups to carry out operations and to recruit and retain members, who may ultimately pose a threat to Denmark or Danish interests abroad. PET continuously seeks to combat terrorist financing at a strategic and tactical level in order to prevent individuals in Denmark from sustaining terrorist groups and promoting their activities through funding. Terrorist financing from individuals in Denmark mainly goes to militant Islamist groups in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Palestine.


Centre for Terror Analysis (CTA) provides regular assessments of the terrorist threat to Denmark and Danish interests abroad.