Monday

22nd Apr 2019

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us