Results tagged “Denmark”
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Authorities said a Danish photographer held captive 13 months in Syria has been released. He was reportedly freed after a ransom was paid to his Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham captors.
Authorities issued arrest warrants for four men who appeared in an August 2013 video from Syria in which they targeted effigies of former secret agent Morten Storm, free speech advocate Lars Hedegaard, politician Naser Khader, the imam Ahmed Akkari, former prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Two of the men were said to be Danish speakers, and three them may have been killed in Syria. Abu Sa'ad, a Danish suicide bomber, reportedly carried out an attack for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham in Mosul, Iraq on May 20. Danish intelligence says that 100 people have left Denmark to fight in Syria, and many have returned, but so far none have been prosecuted. Authorities recently declined to prosecute two other cases involving Danish fighters in Syria, and dropped their investigation of an imam at the Qubo mosque.
Ahmed Akkari, who was instrumental in drumming up Muslim outrage over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005, admitted that the Danish imams who visited the Middle East on the campaign met with Hamas and Hezbollah to seek their help. Akkari, who has since denounced his own role in the campaign, stated in his new book that the visits with the two terror organizations had to be kept secret at the time for fear that "we would lose the success we were just beginning to have."
Police have identified several members of the Grimhøjvej 7 Aarhus mosque who are suspected of recruiting fighters for jihad in Syria; authorities are attempting to resolve the issue through dialogue. The mosque has previously hosted radical Islamists, including Imam Abu Ahmad, who instructed persons convicted of terrorism in Denmark, and Imam Abu Ubaydillah, a member of the Salafist group Call to Islam and a vocal supporter of al Qaeda. Authorities have developed an exit program for returning jihadists; 22 of 27 known jihadists from Aarhus came from the mosque. The Supreme Court upheld a 2013 ruling that prohibits a TV station linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party from broadcasting in Denmark.
Said Mansour a.k.a. Sam Mansour, a Copenhagen bookseller with ties to extremist cleric Abu Qatada, was accused of inciting terrorism; the new charges are similar to those for which he was previously convicted. Police described him as the ideologue for a European terror network linked to "a wide range of Islamic terrorists." He is being held in custody for four weeks. Mansour, who is also wanted by Jordan, may have dual Moroccan nationality.
Justice Minister Hækkerup said that since Denmark cannot prosecute Danes for having traveled to fight in Syria, Denmark plans to work with other European Union countries to prevent would-be jihadists from leaving their home countries. Danish intelligence reported that since 2012, at least 90 people have left Denmark to fight in Syria and 11 have died there. Abu Khattab, a well-known Danish Salafist, was reportedly killed in Syria in late 2013. Authorities have warned Danish Muslims they could be prosecuted upon their return to Denmark if they fought in Syria, but none have been prosecuted.
Denmark has offered to contribute up to 75 military personnel and a C-130J cargo aircraft to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. Isaac Meyer a.k.a. Abdul Basit Abu-Lifa, a convicted terrorist, was found guilty of assaulting Yayha Hassan, a poet who has criticized Islamist culture in Denmark.
Police filed charges against one of two people accused of posting online threats against poet Yahya Hassan, who has criticized Islamist culture in Denmark. Six of 27 reported threats were investigated; charges against the other suspect were dropped.
The PET intelligence agency estimated that about 80 Danes have gone to Syria to fight since 2012; it said at least seven have been killed in Syria and some 40 have returned. The agency warned that most of the recruits come from "Islamist" environments, and that an increasing number of them have ties to criminal gangs. Police recommended that an event featuring a poet who has criticized Islamist culture in Denmark be canceled due to fears they would not be able to maintain public order.
Isaac Meyer, a.k.a. Abdul Basit Abu-Lifa, was charged with terrorism for assaulting Yahya Hassan, a Danish poet of Palestinian origins who has criticized Islamist culture in Denmark. Meyer, who was previously convicted of terrorism, punched Hassan at Copenhagen's central train station, calling him an infidel who should die. Hassan is currently under the protection of Denmark's PET intelligence agency, after receiving death threats.
The Foreign Ministry said it is investigating reports that two Danish men were killed while fighting in Syria. One carried a student identification card for 17-year-old Fatih Jahangir Khan of Vejle; the other carried a Danish passport but his name was not given. The pair reportedly died in clashes between Syrian rebels and regime forces in Aleppo over the weekend.
Police arrested but later released 15 people in Aarhus suspected of throwing rocks and flares at former imam Ahmed Akkari, who was on a speaking tour of troubled neighborhoods with a candidate for parliament. Police also seized 209 flares intended that were to be set off during the event. Akkari, who was protected by 40 policemen, said he would not back down despite harassment. Rocks were also thrown at the two men during a previous event in Odense. Akkari has been criticized by some in the Muslim community for distancing himself from the Prophet Mohammed cartoon controversy.
The Supreme Court rejected a Kurdish TV station's attempt to appeal its terrorism conviction. The domestic intelligence agency PET is training shop managers in Copenhagen and Aarhus how to identify potential terrorists.
The national intelligence agency, PET, said that some 40 Danish residents have trained in Shabaab camps in Somalia, and that the terror group has recruited in Denmark as part of an effort to gain fighters from outside Somalia. Citing an inability to find violations of the law, police dropped their investigation of extremist cleric Abu Ahmed, his Quba mosque, and the organization Hjælp4Syrien, which are thought to be supporting jihadist activity in Syria.
Trial began in Copenhagen for 11 men accused of sending 11 million Danish kroner (nearly $2 million) to aid the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party in Turkey. All of the defendants have pled not guilty to terror charges but some admitted to raising the money for other purposes. The case arose from information obtained during the investigation of a Kurdish TV station that was found to have promoted terrorism.
Abderozzak Benarabe, a convicted gang leader from Nørrebro who is said to have fought with the Islamist Ahrar al Sham brigade in Syria this year, is wanted by authorities for assault and robbery in Nørrebro. Officials interrogated him on his return from Syria but have not charged him with terrorist offenses. He is said to be in Morocco.
A video featuring Abu Khattab, a Danish-speaking jihadist in Syria has emerged, showing Khattab and three other fighters declaring war on the "enemies of Islam" and aiming guns at photos of six prominent Danes, including NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The chairman of the Danish Syrian Association said the Assad regime was not responsible for the chemical attack in Damascus on Aug. 21. Denmark said it will not offer permanent residency to Syrian refugees.
The state attorney's department for special economic and international crime has begun investigating Syrian refugees who are suspected of committing war crimes in Syria. The investigations will look at those who have fought for the Assad regime as well as those who have fought with the rebels.
Authorities announced a possible lead in the investigation into the February attack on Danish free speech advocate Lars Hedegaard. A dark blue VW Transporter van was seen outside Hedegaard's residence just prior to the attempted shooting. The car was purchased a few days earlier by a man of "ethnic origin other than Danish" who used the false identity "Mohammed Issa"; his description matches that of the attacker.
The head of PET, Denmark's secret service agency, said the agency and the government are taking measures to crack down on Danes who travel to Syria to fight with the rebels, who pose "one of the most serious security risks to the Danish society at the moment." PET estimates that at least 65 Danes have fought in the conflict; five are known to have been killed in Syria. Many of the Danish fighters are said to have joined the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusrah Front.