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Denmark: Police foil suspected Islamist terror attack plans

December 11, 2019 GMT
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Police conduct searches at Ramsingvej in Copenhagen, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Police in Denmark police say they have carried out “a comprehensive and coordinated police action” across the country based on suspicions of preparations "for terrorist attacks with a militant, Islamist motive.” The Copenhagen police department and the Danish domestic security service were planning a news conference for later Wednesday. (Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
1 of 4
Police conduct searches at Ramsingvej in Copenhagen, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Police in Denmark police say they have carried out “a comprehensive and coordinated police action” across the country based on suspicions of preparations "for terrorist attacks with a militant, Islamist motive.” The Copenhagen police department and the Danish domestic security service were planning a news conference for later Wednesday. (Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish police have arrested “some 20 people” suspected of involvement in Islamist terrorism in a series of raids across the country, authorities said Wednesday.

Flemming Drejer, the operative head of the Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service, said the suspects were “driven by a militant, Islamist motive.”

Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Joergen Bergen Skov said some of them would be charged under the Scandinavian country’s terror laws on Thursday behind closed doors.

“Some had have procured things to make explosives and have tried to acquire weapons,” Bergen Skov told a joint press conference with the domestic intelligence service.

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Drejer, the intelligence chief, said the arrests won’t change Denmark’s terror threat assessment, which “remains serious.”

“We look with great severity on a case like this one because it unfortunately confirms that there are people that have the intention and capacity to commit terror (attacks) in Denmark,” Drejer said.

Bergen Skov said police raided about 20 addresses in Denmark and six police departments across the country were involved. The raids and arrests were coordinated by the Copenhagen police.

No details were given as to what the target was or when an attack would take place.

Danish authorities have reported foiling several extremist attacks in recent years, including ones linked to the 2005 publication in a newspaper of 12 cartoons by various artists depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

A Danish court earlier this year gave a Syrian asylum seeker in Sweden a 12-year prison sentence for planning to explode one or more bombs in Copenhagen and stabbing random people with kitchen knives. Moyed Al Zoebi, 32, acted on behalf of the Islamic State group, according to the Copenhagen City Court.

Al Zoebi had an accomplice, Dieab Khadigah, who was sentenced in Germany in July 2017 to a prison term of six-and-a-half years.

On Feb. 14, 2015, lone gunman Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein killed two people in separate shootings in Copenhagen, before being shot dead by police.