PET: Denmark still top terrorist target

Domestic security agency warns that terror attempts on Danish soil will continue in 2012

The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
February 1st, 2012 4:37 pm| by admin
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Denmark remains a “prioritised terrorist target,” according to a report released on Tuesday by the domestic security agency PET.

The terrorism risk report is the first of its kind that PET has disclosed publicly and comes on the heels of the conviction in Oslo on Monday of two immigrants charged with planning a terrorist attack on the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in retaliation for publishing the Mohammed cartoons in 2005.

The clear conclusion of the PET report is that eight months after the death of Osama Bin Laden, and almost seven years after the Mohammed cartoon controversy, militant extremist Muslims still see Denmark as a key target for potential terrorist acts.

Organisations or people with connections to the Mohammed cartoons remain a particular target, according to PET, which claimed that a new kind of “solo terrorist” – a single individual, working alone to carry off a terrorist attack – has become more common, even as the al Qaeda terrorist network has become weaker.

Solo terrorists, including militant nationalists, are therefore a special area of concern for the security agency, which noted that Anders Behring Breivik’s solo terrorist attacks that killed 77 people in Norway last July might have an “inspirational effect for certain individuals” in Denmark.

PET foresees a continued threat from small numbers of foreigners, either acting alone or with extremist groups, who will plan or attempt terrorist attacks in Denmark. A spate of such cases has plagued Copenhagen over the last few years.

Lors Dokaiev, the ‘one-legged bomber’ from Belgium, the American-Pakistani terrorist David Headley, and four Stockholm-based immigrants who were arrested in Copenhagen with their car trunk filled with automatic weapons, are just three such cases from the past few years.

The two Norwegians convicted in Oslo on Tuesday were also planning an attack in Denmark against Jyllands-Posten newspaper in connection with the Mohammed cartoons controversy. Both men are immigrants who moved to Norway in 1999 – one from China and the other from Iraq. Both are legal residents and one had even obtained Norwegian citizenship. Norway’s security agency PST intercepted them before they could carry out their plan.

PET underscored that the actual risk to individuals of being struck by a terrorist attack either in Denmark or abroad remains very small. But PET chief, Jakob Scharf, recommended that police “maintain a sharpened awareness in connection with terrorism threats” throughout 2012.

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