Copenhagen attacks suspect killed, say police

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Updated 16 February 2015

Copenhagen attacks suspect killed, say police

COPENHAGEN: Danish police shot and killed a man early Sunday suspected of carrying out shooting attacks at a free speech event and then at a Copenhagen synagogue, killing two men. Five police officers were also wounded in the attacks.
Officials have not identified the perpetrator but say it is possible he was imitating the terror attacks last month in Paris in which radicals carried out a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom followed by an attack at a kosher grocery store.
“Denmark has been hit by terror,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said on Sunday.
He said the shootings, which bore similarities to an assault in Paris in January on the offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, were terrorist attacks.
“We do not know the motive for the alleged perpetrator’s actions, but we know that there are forces that want to hurt Denmark. They want to rebuke our freedom of speech.”
Leaders across Europe condemned the violence and expressed support for Denmark. Sweden’s security service said it was sharing information with its Danish counterpart, while US National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said US officials were ready to help with the investigation and have been in touch with their Danish counterparts.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius compared the Copenhagen attack to the Paris killings, told Europe 1 radio on Sunday: “I am struck by the similarities of this sequence. First an attack against freedom of speech, then an attack against Jews, and then the confrontation with the police.”
French President Francois Hollande said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve would go to the Danish capital later on Sunday.
European Council President Donald Tusk called Saturday’s attack “another brutal terrorist attack targeted at our fundamental values and freedoms, including the freedom of expression.”
A man died in Saturday’s shooting at a cafe hosting Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has received death threats for depicting religion in poor image. Vilks was unhurt. A security guard died in a separate attack overnight at a nearby synagogue.
“We’ve tasted the ugly taste of fear and impotence that terror wants to create,” Thorning-Schmidt told reporters.
Police had released a photo of the suspect, dressed in a heavy winter coat and maroon mask. But the motivations of the gunman, who police said was armed with an automatic weapon, were not known.
Danish police had launched a massive manhunt with helicopters roaring overhead and an array of armoured vehicles on the usually peaceful streets of Copenhagen.
Police said they shot dead the suspect near a train station in Norrebro, an area in Copenhagen not far from the sites of the two attacks. Police said he had fired on officers. Some local media said police raided an apartment in the area.
“We assume that it’s the same culprit behind both incidents... that was shot by the police,” Chief police inspector Torben Molgaard Jensen told reporters.
French Ambassador Francois Zimeray attended the cafe event, entitled “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” and praised Denmark’s support for freedom of speech following the Paris attacks.
Witnesses said the envoy had barely finished his introduction when up to 40 shots rang out, outside the venue, as an attacker sprayed the cafe’s windows with bullets.
Security experts said they considered Vilks, the main speaker, to have been the target. A 55-year-old man died as a result of that shooting, police said early on Sunday.
Witnesses said police who were at the heavily-guarded venue fired back at the attacker. Vilks was taken to a back cold storage room for protection.
“The rather spare audience got to experience fear and horror - and tragedy. I can’t say it affected me as I was well looked after,” Vilks wrote in a blog post.
Hours later, shots were fired at a synagogue about a half hour’s walk from the cafe. A man guarding the synagogue was shot in the head and died later. Two police officers were wounded.
“He was a member of the community, a fantastic guy,” Rabbi Bent Lexner, Denmark’s former chief rabbi, told Israeli Army Radio. “We are in shock. I am sitting now with the parents of the man killed. We didn’t think such a thing could happen in Denmark.”
Helle Merete Brix, organizer of the event at the cafe, told Reuters she had seen an attacker wearing a mask.
“The security guards shouted ‘Everyone get out!’ and we were being pushed out of the room,” Brix said.
Danish authorities have been on alert since three gunmen killed 17 people in three days of violence in Paris last month that began with an attack on Charlie Hebdo, long known for its acerbic cartoons on Islam, other religions and politicians.
Authorities have also been worried about possible lone gunmen like Anders Behring Breivik, the anti-immigrant Norwegian who killed 77 people in 2011, most of them at a youth camp run by Norway’s ruling center-left Labor Party.


LIVE: Davos 2020 Day One - Thunberg slams elites, Trump hails US economic rebound

Updated 38 min 11 sec ago

LIVE: Davos 2020 Day One - Thunberg slams elites, Trump hails US economic rebound

  • Discussion panels featuring a number of high profile figures from the political, business and civil world.
  • Environment and climate issues on agenda, but Iran and Lebanon expected to feature heavily

The World Economic Forum 2020 started on Tuesday in Davos in Switzerland. Greta Thunberg kicked off the three day forum in a panel discussion on Sustainable Path towards a Common Future.

There will be discussion panels featuring a number of high profile figures from the political, business and civil world.

They will discuss a wide range of subjects including the environment and climate issues, but Iran and Lebanon are expected to feature heavily.

Follow Arab News’ coverage below

13:45 - Bollywood superstar and mental health ambassador Deepika Padukone has a very honest and inspiring conversation with World Health Organization's director-general about her own experiences with mental illness and how the stigma surrounding it can be ended...

In 2017, Padukone spoke vividly about her struggle with depression and the stigma that surrounded it. She also described how she decided to speak out, so others wouldn't have to suffer in the same way she did. Watch the Crystal Awardee speaking earlier at Davos:

13:00 - Saudi Arabia's Minister for Communications and IT Abdullah Al-Swaha has been speaking on a panel about the strategic outlook for Middle East economies. He makes the salient point that if countries want their economies to grow, they must focus on youth, technology and the empowerment of women...

11:30 - US President Donald Trump reverted to his role as salesman Tuesday, telling a gathering of the world's top businessmen in the Swiss Alps that he's led a “spectacular” turnaround of the US economy and encouraged them to invest in America.

He reminded the audience that when he spoke here two years ago, early in his presidency, “I told you that we had launched the great American comeback."

“Today I’m proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” the president said.

Read more of the US President's address at Davos here: Trump lauds US economy in Davos, says little on climate woes

11:00 - Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson delivered a special message from Pope Francis. He called on everyone to remember that we are all members of one human family, and that we have a moral obligation to care for one another.

And he asked for a renewed ethical approach in the forthcoming discussions, including in the discipline of economics.

10:30 - The historian Yuval Noah Harari struck a pessimistic note at the opening of this session on the technology arms race. 

"On the most shallow level it could be a repeat of the 19thcentury industrial revolution, when the leaders had the chance to dominate the world economically and politically... I understand the current arms race as an imperial arms race... You don't need to send the soldiers in if you have all the data on a country," says Harari.

10:00 - In one of the first sessions of the WEF, Greta Thunberg said the voices of science and youth need to be at the center of the conversations on environment and future during “Forging a Sustainable Path towards a Common Future” panel discussion. 

Read more on her speech hereThunberg condemns climate inaction as Trump joins Davos