Did Denmark nearly sustain a second mass killing in July … this time in central Aarhus on the 16th?

If all the reported details of the case are correct, this could have been the first time in Danish history that a car was used in a possible terror attack

A court hearing began at 09:00 in Aarhus today concerning a 33-year-old man who it is believed had plans to carry out a possible terror attack in the middle of Aarhus on July 16.

His weapons are reported to be three knives and a car. It is believed he intended to target Frederiksgade, a street in the centre of the city packed with restaurants and bars.

The man, who made an initial appearance in court on July 17, is pleading not guilty, although it is not absolutely clear what he has been charged with.

Terror motivations suspected
Initially, he was charged with traffic violations and possession of weapons, but investigators began to suspect there was a terror motive – a conclusion the judge at the first hearing cited.

Since his arrest, the man has been detained in a closed psychiatric ward. Today’s case will determine whether he should be released or kept imprisoned for another four-week period.

Had the incident resulted in any fatalities, it would have followed just 13 days after the Field’s shootings that claimed the lives of three people.

Police reports suggest it was a serious incident
The case is considered to be of a sensitive nature, and court proceedings are accordingly going on behind closed doors.

A few details emerged during the aftermath of the incident: that a man fitting the suspect’s description was driving recklessly down Frederiksgade, causing pedestrians to jump aside. The incident was reported to the police at 23:46. 

However, according to East Jutland Police, officers only caught up with the man because he contacted roadside assistance as his car had sustained damage. At around 02:00 in Herskind, officers on the scene found two large knives in the man’s car and a smaller knife on his person.

Previously declared insane
The man was initially charged with violating the Knife Act and reckless driving, but in court the next day, the judge decided to retain him in connection with Section 114 of the Criminal Code, which relates to terror attacks.

According to DR, the man has previous gangland convictions. A court in 2015 declared him to be insane.

According to TV2 Østjylland, concrete blocks have been strategically placed on the Aarhus street to prevent another motorist from attempting the same.

It is believed to be the first time in Danish history that a car has been used in a possible terror attack.