15 Feb 2015

Danish police shoot dead terror suspect

The man believed to have carried out attacks at a Copenhagen cafe and synagogue, killing two people, is shot after firing at officers.

Police launched a manhunt on Saturday afternoon after dozens of shots were fired at the Krudttonden cafe, leaving one citizen dead and three police officers injured.

The cafe was hosting a freedom of speech event featuring the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had been under police protection after publishing pictures of the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007.

Mr Vilks was unhurt, as was the French ambassador to Denmark Francois Zimeray, who was also at the event.

Mr Zimeray tweeted from his @FranceDK account shortly after the shooting, writing: “Still alive in the room.”

The 55-year-old dead man has not yet been formally identified.

Shooting scene at Copenhagen cafe (Getty)

The Danish authorities initially thought there were two attackers, but they now believe the killer acted alone, fleeing the scene in a VW Polo that was later found dumped.

A massive manhunt was launched, with helicopters hovering over the city and armoured vehicles on the usually peaceful streets.

Hours later a man died after being shot in the head near a synagogue in the Krystalgade area of the city, with two police officers also shot in the arm and leg and the gunman fleeing from the scene on foot.

The president of the Jewish community in Denmark, Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, said the victim was a young Jewish man who had been working as a doorman while a party took place at a community centre behind the synagogue.

A well-wisher lays flowers near the synagogue in Copenhagen (Getty)

In the early hours of the morning, officers who had an address in the Norrebro area of the city under observation later hailed a man as he approached and were forced to shoot him when he opened fire on them.

Chief Inspector Torben Molgaard Jensen of Copenhagen Police said: “We assume that it’s the same culprit behind both incidents, and we also assume that the culprit that was shot by the police task force on Norrebro station is the person behind both of these assassinations.

“But there are many loose ends that we have to sort out and therefore we will keep a massive presence here in the capital also in the coming hours.”

Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said last: “We feel certain now that it’s a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack.

“We take this situation extremely seriously. We are in a high alarm all over the country, and our main priority at this stage is to catch the perpetrators and make sure that we find them as soon as possible.”

Speaking outside the synagogue on Sunday morning, she said: “A man has lost his life in the service of this synagogue and we are devastated. Our thoughts go to his family. We are with them today.

“But our thoughts go to the whole of the Jewish community today. They belong in Denmark, they are a strong part of our community and we will do everything we can to protect the Jewish community in our country.”

David Cameron said his thoughts were with the Danish people, tweeting: “I condemn the shootings in Copenhagen. Free speech must always be protected.”

The shootings come just over a month after the attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 people dead.

According to larsvilks.com, Saturday’s Art, Blasphemy And The Freedom Of Expression event was timed to mark the anniversary of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.