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Feb 16, 2015 11:38 AM

Danish sources name slain suspect in Copenhagen attacks

The Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) Two Danish sources close to the investigation have confirmed to The Associated Press that the slain gunman behind two deadly shooting attacks in Copenhagen last weekend was Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because Copenhagen police have not named the gunman, who they said was a 22-year-old Dane. Several Danish media have already named him.

The attacks in Copenhagen killed two people and wounded five police officers.


A Danish court on Monday jailed two suspected accomplices of the slain gunman behind the deadly attacks in Copenhagen while the prime minister said there were no signs of links to a wider terror network.

Danes mourned the two victims of the country's first fatal terror attacks in 30 years, while some also put flowers at the spot where police killed the gunman.

The suspects arraigned Monday were accused of helping the gunman evade authorities and get rid of a weapon during the manhunt that ended early Sunday when the attacker was killed in a shootout with a SWAT team, said Michael Juul Eriksen, the defense attorney for one of the two suspects.

Prosecutors had asked a judge to place them in four weeks of solitary confinement and the relatively short period of detention 10 days in custody suggests the case against the men is "thin," added Juul Eriksen's assistant, Anders Rohde.

Rohde was speaking to reporters after a four-hour custody hearing held behind closed doors for the men, who were not named.

Two people were killed in the weekend attacks, including a Danish filmmaker attending a free speech event and a Jewish security guard shot in the head outside a synagogue in Copenhagen. Five police officers were wounded in the attacks. Police said Monday they are in good condition and are expected to be released from hospital this week.

Authorities have not identified the gunman, but have described him as a 22-year-old Dane with a history of violence and gang connections. Denmark's security service said he may have been inspired by the terror attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris that killed 17 people.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told reporters Monday that the gunman's choice of targets suggests the attacks were acts of terrorism.

"We have no indication at this stage that he was part of a cell," she said. "But we will of course in the coming time evaluate our fight against radicalization. We are already doing a lot."

Investigators on Monday released more information about the gunman's movements between the attacks.

Police spokesman Joergen Skov said the gunman visited an Internet cafe late Saturday, about six-and-a-half hours after the first attack. Police raided the facility on Sunday and detained four people, including the two men arraigned on Monday, Skov said. The other two were released.

Investigators released new images of the suspect and asked witnesses who had seen him enter or leave the Internet cafe to contact police.

"We are of course interested in whether he was alone and whether he was carrying anything and in which direction he went," Skov said.

Denmark's red-and-white flag flew at half-staff from official buildings across the capital Monday. Mourners placed flowers and candles at the cultural center where documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard, 55, was killed and at the synagogue where Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old security guard, was gunned down.

There was also a smaller mound of flowers on the street at the location where the gunman was slain, which critics said was an insult to his victims. Ozlem Cekic, lawmaker of the leftwing Socialist People's Party, called it "a huge assault on the Danish population."

The prime ministers of Denmark and Sweden were expected to join thousands of people at memorials in Copenhagen on Monday evening.

Denmark has been targeted by a series of foiled terror plots since the 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The cartoons triggered riots in many Muslim countries and militant Islamists called for vengeance.

"I want to underline that this is not a conflict between Islam and the West," Thorning-Schmidt said. "This is not a conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims. This is a conflict between the core values of our society and violent extremists."

One of the participants in the free speech event targeted Saturday was Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who caricatured the prophet in 2007. Vilks, who was whisked away by his bodyguards and was unharmed, told The Associated Press he thought he was the intended target of that attack.

Other participants said they dropped to the floor, looking for places to hide as the shooting started. The gunman never entered the cultural center but sprayed it with bullets from outside in a gun battle with police.

World leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, condemned the Copenhagen attacks.

French President Francois Hollande visited the Danish Embassy in Paris on Sunday and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was in Copenhagen on Monday in a show of solidarity.

"The terrorist attacks have the same causes in Paris and Copenhagen," Hidalgo said. "Our cities are symbols of democracy, Paris and Copenhagen. We are here and we are not afraid."

Denmark's last terror attack with a deadly outcome took place in 1985, when a bomb exploded outside the Copenhagen office of airline North West Orient, killing a 27-year-old Algerian tourist.


AP journalist Philipp-Moritz Jenne contributed to this report.


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