Tuesday

13th Nov 2018

Europe shocked by Copenhagen terror attack

  • Public transport came to a halt in Copenhagen and border controls towards Germany and Sweden intensified after two terror attacks over the weekend (Photo: EUobserver)

Copenhagen police shot and killed on Sunday morning (15 February) a man suspected to have carried out two terror attacks in the Danish capital over the weekend.

”Once again Europe is shocked by what appears to be another brutal terrorist attack targeted at our fundamental values and freedoms, including the freedom of expression”, said European Council President Donald Tusk.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • 'We are Danes'. Liberation's frontpage after the Copenhagen attack (Photo: Liberation)

Similar to the Charlie Hebdo terror in Paris on 7 January, freedom of expression was the first target in Copenhagen followed by an attack on the Jewish community.

The first attack happened on Saturday afternoon, when a man fired some 40 shots at the culture centre ’Krudttønden’ where an international debate about freedom of expression had just started.

Some 50 people had turned up for the public debate between Swedish Muhammad cartoonist and art historian Lars Vilks, leader of the Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN, Inna Shevchenko, and Polish artist Agnieszka Kolek. The French ambassador was also present.

One civilian was killed in the attack and three police officers present at the meeting were wounded.

The attacker fled in a stolen car, which was found soon after in the neighbourhood. Video surveillance showed he had taken a taxi further on.

He has been identified as 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, born in Copenhagen to Palestinian parents. The Danish-Palestinian man was known to the police for gang-related crimes, but had not been abroad as a foreign fighter.

He was released from jail just a few weeks earlier and one possibility is that he was radicalised while in the prison.

Shortly after midnight he carried out a second attack against the main synagogue of the Jewish community in Copenhagen, where some 80 people were attending a family event.

One young Jewish doorman was shot and later died, while two police officers were wounded before the attacker fled.

Again, police presence at the place most likely prevented an even larger tragedy.

Video surveillance led the police to identify the man, suspected to have carried out both shootings. When confronted by police in the early morning hours, he fired at police and was killed, while two police officers were wounded.

"It's a very sad morning when we all think of the victims and their relatives. Two innocent people have lost their lives as a result of a cynical act of terror against Denmark”, prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a statement.

Policed used social media to keep the public informed as events unfolded. Thorning-Schmidt praised the security forces for having acted quickly.

”No one should get away with attacking the open, free and democratic Danish society," she said.

'Je suis Charlie' solidarity protests continue

A day after a deadly attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, France is commemorating the victims, as police continue to hunt for the two gunmen.

Interview

EU rights chief warns against ethnic profiling

The outgoing head of the EU’s fundamental rights agency, Morten Kjaerum, has warned against the use ethnic profiling as authorities seek to tighten security in the wake of terror attacks in France and Denmark.

News in Brief

  1. UK seeks swift use of new EU chemical weapons blacklist
  2. Barnier briefs EU ministers: intense negotiations continue
  3. Romanian minister preparing EU presidency steps down
  4. Finland says Russia possibly behind GPS jamming
  5. German AfD leader under fire for Swiss campaign funding
  6. Seehofer announces he will step down as CSU party leader
  7. EU condemns elections in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine
  8. German Greens pick two top candidates for EU election

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  2. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  3. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name
  4. Fear of nationalist surge marks European memorials
  5. Liberals ally with Macron for election, but no candidate yet
  6. Revealed: Link between MEPs CO2 votes and domestic car jobs
  7. All Quiet on the Eastern Front?
  8. Merkel and Brexit in spotlight This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us