New information reveals that the terrorist behind the February 2015 Copenhagen attacks attempted to rent a flat overlooking the main target, Krudttønden, through Airbnb reports DR Nyheder. It is not clear if he wanted to use the location during the attack or before.
The attack, that killed two and left five injured, was previously thought to be impulsive but this suggests it was pre-planned.
The main target of the attack was thought to be Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist best known for his controversial depiction of Mohammed, who was in attendance at a conference called ‘Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression’.
The terrorist attacked Krudttønden killing a bystander and later moved on to the Copenhagen Synagogue, killing a young Jewish security guard. The police picked up the trail of the attacker and he was subsequently shot dead in a gunfight.
DR news has revealed that Omar el-Hussein created fake Airbnb accounts, with no photos or descriptions, and tried to rent locations overlooking Krudttønden over a two-day period between February 12 and 15 (the attack took place on February 14)
In his applications, el-Hussein suggested that he wanted to use the location for his studies.
Thankfully both landlords, who wish to remain anonymous, turned him down because “his profile looked strange.”
The pre-planned nature of the attacks is further supported by police claims that the terrorist looked at layouts, photos and Krudttønden’s main website from three different IP addresses prior to the attack.
Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, the former head of Denmark’s national intelligence and security authority PET told DR that “up to now, a lot of people have probably been under the impression that the attack was impulsive. Now it appears that he planned carefully and had a clear intention to commit the attack.’’
Bonnichsen added that it was important that lessons are learnt. The possibility that a terrorist might rent a flat near a target has been one of PET’s fears for some time now.