Tags: MidPoint | Olav Christensen | Denmark | Copenhagen | terrorism

Danish Journalist: Danes 'Bracing' for More Attacks After Copenhagen

By    |   Tuesday, 17 February 2015 04:22 PM

The Danish people are "bracing themselves" for more Islamist violence like Saturday's deadly attack in Copenhagen, and had been anticipating blowback ever since a Swedish cartoonist angered Muslims in 2007 with a drawing of the prophet Muhammad as a dog, says a reporter for TV 2 in Denmark.

"The people are still shocked," Olav Christensen, TV 2 political correspondent, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Tuesday. "They maybe weren't surprised, because we have been waiting for this ever since the famous cartoons were published years ago."

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A gunman opened fire on a cafe hosting a free speech debate on Saturday that was attended by the controversial Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, Danish authorities said. One person was killed in the attack, and Vilks — who might have been the actual target — has reportedly gone into hiding.

The gunman also shot and killed a guard at a synagogue before he himself died in a shootout with police, authorities said, identifying the assailant as 22-year-old Omar El-Hussein, a Danish native of Palestinian descent with a criminal record as a street-gang member from a rough and mostly immigrant neighborhood in Copenhagen.

While debate rages over the motive and the extent of El-Hussein's ties to radical Islam, ordinary Danes appear to have made up their minds that Copenhagen has joined Paris, London, New York and Madrid as cities attacked by Islamic extremists.

"People are bracing themselves that this could happen again, because this man probably wasn't alone," said Christensen. "Already, we have heard from some of his friends that they think that he did the right thing."

One of the most troubling details of El-Hussein's emerging profile is the transformation he underwent while in prison from common criminal to jihadist, said Christensen.

"A lot of his friends who knew him before he went to prison say that he wasn't radicalized at all; he was just a petty criminal," he said. "Then he came out of prison and apparently was so radical in his views that he carried out this thing.

"The most disturbing fact is that the prison officers … did say to the Danish intelligence services that here's a young man who has some very radical views," said Christensen. "They had picked that up and they involved the police intelligence service. But apparently, the police didn't do anything about it."

Christensen said police officials have insisted "that the information they got [from prison officials] wasn't of such a disturbing nature that they felt that this man should be under 24-hour surveillance.

"They said that they didn't anticipate him to do anything like this," said Christensen, "and that's why they didn't do anything."

Danes might have to acknowledge "that things are going on in our prisons that we really don't want to hear about, but that but that we should be concerned about," he said.

"Because what seems to happen is that these young criminals enter the prison [system], and then they meet there people who are ready and able to turn them."

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The Danish people are "bracing themselves" for more Islamist violence like Saturday's deadly attack in Copenhagen, says a reporter for TV 2 in Denmark.
Olav Christensen, Denmark, Copenhagen, terrorism
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 04:22 PM
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