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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

Foiled Denmark terrorist plot linked to ISIS extremists

Fourteen arrested in Denmark and Germany after explosives discovered

Danish police officers and forensic technicians in Apotekerhaven in Holbaek raiding homes linked to a terrorist plot. AFP
Danish police officers and forensic technicians in Apotekerhaven in Holbaek raiding homes linked to a terrorist plot. AFP

Fourteen people with links to Islamic extremism were arrested in Denmark and Germany on suspicion of planning one or more terror attacks using explosives.

Denmark's intelligence service revealed on Friday that those arrested had extremist "militant Islamist"motives and in one of the raids an ISIS flag was recovered.

Raids were carried out across Denmark and Germany in connection with the plot.

Danish police the discovery of an ISIS flag could indicate the suspects “have a connection or sympathy with the terror organisation.”

Flemming Drejer, operative head of Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service (PET), said the findings were “worrying” but “it is our assessment that there was no imminent danger.”

He said the first seven individuals who were arrested in Denmark had acquired weapons and “we found things that can be used to make a bomb" and said police found shotguns and a rifle with a scope, as well as the flag, but that he could not give further details about the Denmark case or its links to Germany.

“We are now in the initial phase of the investigation and we need to keep our cards close to the chest,” Mr Dreyer said.

"We believe there was no immediate threat, nothing was assembled or mixed. But we're not naive, and we're not excluding anything."

Thirteen people were arrested at the weekend in a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark's PET intelligence service said, and another arrest was made in Germany.

"The operation took place due to suspicions that a terror attack motivated by militant Islamism was being prepared," PET said.

A Danish police officer in Apotekerhaven in Holbaek during a targeted operation, focusing on the Copenhagen area. AFP / Ritzau Scanpix / presse-fotos.dk / STRINGER
A Danish police officer in Apotekerhaven in Holbaek during a targeted operation, focusing on the Copenhagen area. AFP / Ritzau Scanpix / presse-fotos.dk / STRINGER

Those arrested in Denmark are in custody, suspected of "planning one or more terrorist attacks or being accessory to attempted terrorism", PET said.

They are suspected of "having acquired ingredients and components for manufacturing explosives as well as firearms or having aided and abetted in the offence".

A search of a residence in the German city of Dessau-Rosslau, between Naumburg and Berlin, uncovered 10 kilograms of black powder and fuses, the German prosecutor has said.

More chemicals were seized in Denmark.

Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup said on Twitter that ”the case shows that the terrorist threat against Denmark remains serious.”

The residential area Apotekerhaven in Holbaek has been raided by police. AFP / Ritzau Scanpix / Claus Bech
The residential area Apotekerhaven in Holbaek has been raided by police. AFP / Ritzau Scanpix / Claus Bech

It is believed eight men and five women were arrested.

German prosecutors on Thursday said that three of the suspects were brothers from Syria, two of whom were arrested in Denmark and one in the German state of Hesse.

German police were alerted to the three last week after they ordered chemicals online that could be used to make explosives.

The men, aged 33, 36 and 40, were charged with planning a serious act of violence endangering the state, said prosecutors in the town of Naumburg, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

"In January of this year, they are alleged to have been involved in the purchase of several kilograms of chemicals that can be used to manufacture explosive devices," prosecutors said.

Updated: February 12, 2021 06:00 PM

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