Details emerge about terror suspects
A one-time elite footballer is among the men held for attempting to transfer assault weapons
A court in Copenhagen has ordered three men suspected of planning a terrorist attack held on remand for four weeks. The men were arrested last week on charges of illegal weapons possession at a suburban Copenhagen train station after one of the suspects, a 23-year-old Turkish citizen who lives in Denmark, attempted to transfer two AK-47 assault rifles to a 21-year-old Dane who resides in Egypt.
Both men pleaded innocent, but the third suspect, a 22-year-old Jordanian who has not present when the arrests were made at Herlev Station, has pleaded guilty to the charges of weapons possession.
A fourth man, a 24-year-old Palestinian, was also arrested and charged with being in Denmark illegally.
There was a large security force on hand when the suspects were arraigned on Saturday. The arraignment was held behind closed doors and prosecutors said there was the possibility of further charges, including terrorism, being brought against the men.
“The three are currently charged with violations of weapons laws, but there is a possibility of further charges being filed,” said Dorit Borgaard, a spokesperson for the Copenhagen Police.
Police said the 22-year-old Jordanian suspect met with an unknown man at Hareskov Station last Thursday at 5:00pm and arranged for him to deliver two Kalashnikov rifles with ammunition.
At 8:30pm that evening, the unknown supplier went back to the same station and handed the weapons over to the 23 year-old Turkish suspect.
The 23-year-old and the 21-year-old were arrested the next day at Herlev Station as the older suspect attempted to deliver the weapons to the younger man. The 22-year-old was arrested at his home in Herlev.
The unknown man who supplied the weapons is still at large.
Politiken reported over the weekend that the 22-year-old suspect had posted anti-Semitic and pro al-Qaeda messages on his Facebook page. One message stated his desire to burn the Israeli flag and attack “every goddamn Zionist pig".
He also wrote that he respected al-Qaeda because “you knew where they stood. They have principles.”
The man also appeared to have connections with the criminal community. One of his Facebook friends is a known member of AK81, a group suspected of working closely with the Hell’s Angels.
Politiken also reported that as a teenager, the 21-year-old Danish-Egyptian suspect was considered one of the most promising young footballers in Denmark. He turned down an offer in 2009 to play for the Danish U-18 national team and instead joined the Egyptian squad. The suspect was born in Denmark, but when he was arrested, his address was listed as being in Cairo, Egypt.
Police raided numerous addresses throughout Greater Copenhagen and confiscated several cars in connection with the investigation. Five other people arrested during those raids have all been released.