16 Feb 2015

Two charged with helping Copenhagen shooter

Danish police charge two people with aiding a man suspected of shooting people dead in the Copenhagen attacks at the weekend.

The suspected gunman, named by media as Omar el-Hussein, was shot by police after attacking a free speech event and a synagogue on Saturday. Police have not confirmed the identity of the attacker.

Two people were killed and five were injured in the attacks.

A Danish police statement said on Monday: “The two men are charged with helping through advice and deeds the perpetrator in relation to the shootings at Krudttonden and in Krystalgade.”

Watch more: Artist claims Copenhagen suspect shouted 'Allahu Akbar'

The gunman attacked a cafe on Saturday afternoon, attempting to shoot his way into a free speech event with Swedish artist Lars Vilks – who has previously received death threats for depicting the head of the Prophet Mohammed on a dog. Mr Vilks was unharmed but 55-year-old film director Finn Norgaard was killed and three police officers injured.

The shooter than attacked a synagogue, killing a guard, 37-year-old Dan Uzan, and injuring two police officers. Police shot the attacker dead in the early hours of Sunday morning.

‘Attack our democracy’

Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service chief Jens Madsen said the man was known to his agency before the shooting.

“We cannot yet say anything concrete about the motive … but are considering that he might have been inspired by the events in Paris some weeks ago,” Mr Madsen said.

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said the attacks were terrorism and promised to protect freedom of speech and Denmark’s Jewish community.

She said: “When you mercilessly fire deadly bullets at innocent people taking part in a debate, when you attack the Jewish community, you attack our democracy.”

Had we had not the security in place the situation could have been much worse. Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Asked about comments over Jewish people taking refuge in Israel, the prime minister said: “I want to be clear the Jewish community has been Denmark in centuries.

“They belong in Denmark. That is my message.” She added that they were “lucky” that the situation was not “much worse”.