About 20 people have been arrested in a nationwide anti-terror campaign that stretched over the entirety of Denmark. Arrests were made in the capital city of Copenhagen, as well as across Zealand and in Jutland, mainland Denmark.
Searches and arrests were made at twenty addresses in seven police districts, and terror plans have been foiled, the Chief Police Inspector of Copenhagen Police, Jørgen Bergen Skov, and Chief Police Inspector and Operational Chief of the Security and Intelligence Service (PET), Flemming Drejer, said at a press conference, as quoted by Danish Radio.
Those arrested were reportedly driven by Islamist motives and conspired to carry out an act of terror on Danish soil. Some of the individuals tried to procure firearms and acquired ingredients to manufacture explosives.
“PET has carried out an intensive intelligence operation based on the suspicion that several people were preparing for terrorist attacks. They are driven by a militant Islamist motive. They have the intention and capacity to commit terror in Denmark”, Flemming Drejer said.
According to PET, all suspects have been detained, and the action does not change with the official assessment of the terror threat against Denmark.
“It does not change the terrorist threat to Denmark, it remains serious. We should not be bowed to terror, we must live our lives normally,” Flemming Drejer said.
Denmark's former Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen thanked the police for averting a terrorist attack.
“As a minister of justice, one gains insight into the darkest corners of Denmark. That knowledge stays with you. It is with deepest respect that I once again send my gratitude to the police and intelligence for, as it seems, once again averting a terrorist attack on us,” Pape Poulsen tweeted.
Som justitsminister får du indsigt i de mørkeste afkroge af Danmark. Den viden sætter sig i en. Det er med dybeste respekt, jeg igen sender vores politi og efterretningstjeneste en tak for – efter alt at dømme – endnu engang har afværget et terrorangreb mod os #dkpol #politidk— Søren Pape Poulsen (@SorenPape) 11 декабря 2019 г.
However, unanswered questions still abounded after the joint press conference. Nothing is known about those arrested – such as their nationality, gender or interrelationships. Nor is the target or the date of the planned attack known.
At the briefing, Copenhagen Police chief inspector Jørgen Bergen Skov assured that the police now have the situation “under control”, with all suspects in the case now arrested and none remaining at large.
Preliminary court hearings for some of those arrested are likely to take place on Thursday, the inspector confirmed.
Earlier this year, Denmark adopted a law that makes it possible to strip jihadists of their Danish citizenship, provided that it is not the only one they have. So far, the law has already been used several times by Interior Minister Mattias Tesfaye.