Denmark anti-terror raids: Extremists plotted bomb and gun attacks

Members of groups with an "Islamist motive" have appeared in court following raids in Copenhagen

Police arrive at Copenhagen City Court in Copenhagen on Thursday, December 12, 2019. Twenty people have been arrested and 20 addresses have been searched Wednesday, December 11, 2019 in connection with a major anti-terrorist campaign. Those arrested are being questioned now in the constitutional hearing. - Denmark OUT
 / AFP / Ritzau Scanpix / Philip Davali
Powered by automated translation

At least nine people suspected of involvement in terrorist plots in Denmark have appeared in court, accused of trying to obtain explosives and firearms.

The court appearances follow the arrest of 21 individuals in the Scandinavian country in anti-terror raids on Wednesday. Two separate cases against two groups have been heard in Copenhagen, according to the Danish newspaper Politiken.

One group, comprised of two men and one women, pleaded guilty to attempting to trying to obtain the ingredients for the explosive chemical TATP. The explosive material was used in the 2005 bomb attacks in the British capital London which killed 56.

A second group, made of four men and one woman, was charged with trying to buy silenced firearms and ammunition to carry out a terror attack. They were stopped from buying the guns by the police intervention.

A third closed-door hearing was held in Odense, Denmark’s third largest city for one man. Under these circumstances, under Danish law, the details of the charges are not made public.

All the individuals swept up in Wednesday’s raids, including those who have not yet appeared in court, are being held under Denmark’s anti-terror laws. Penalties including life imprisonment can be handed down those found to have broken the laws.

Danish police launched the raids on Wednesday against the suspects with "a militant, Islamist motive" who they feared were preparing one or several violent attacks, possibly on Danish soil.

Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Joergen Bergen Skov said after the arrests that some of them would be get preliminary charges under Denmark's terror laws behind closed doors, adding "some had have procured things to make explosives and have tried to acquire weapons".

Danish authorities have reported foiling several extremist attacks in recent years. In 2015 two people were killed and six police officers wounded in a terror attack which began outside a culture centre hosting a freedom of speech event in Copenhagen. The lone-gunman continued his killing spree outside a synagogue in the centre of the Danish capital. The attacker was later killed in a shootout with police.