News24

Denmark arrests 2 for plotting attack

2012-05-29 18:51

Copenhagen - Two brothers of Somali origin have been arrested in Denmark suspected of plotting a terror attack and of links to the Islamist Shabaab network in Somalia, Danish intelligence agency PET said on Tuesday.

"It is PET's opinion that with the arrests we have avoided a concrete act of terror," the agency said in a statement.
The two brothers, aged 18 and 23, whose names were not given, were arrested on Monday evening - one at his home in the central city of Aarhus and the other as he arrived by plane at Copenhagen airport.

"The arrested are suspected of having been in the process of preparing an act of terror, among other things through conversations about methods, targets and the use of weapon types," it said.

Training

"One of the arrested is also suspected of having undergone training, instruction and teaching at an al-Shabaab training camp in Somalia with the aim of carrying out an act of terror."

Police had conducted searches at two separate addresses in Aarhus in connection with the arrests.

Both men held Danish citizenship and had been living in the Aarhus area for the past 16 years, PET said, adding they would go before a judge on Tuesday to determine whether they will be remanded in custody.

A clerk at the Aarhus district court said the hearing would be held behind closed doors beginning at 12:00 and would likely last at least an hour.

Since the suspected attack plot had been averted, PET said there was no need to raise the terror threat level in Denmark, which is nonetheless considered "serious".

Police did not specify what the target of the suspected attack plot was, but said the brothers were suspected of breaching Denmark's terror law, which can carry a life sentence.

One of them might be charged with breaking a new and never-before used law against training with the aim of carrying out a terrorist act.

Plots

The arrests came just over a month after Danish police arrested three people in Copenhagen, also suspected of planning a "terrorist act".

In addition, four others remain on trial for allegedly plotting to massacre the staff of a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, which first published 12 controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005 that triggered violent and sometimes deadly protests around the world.

Jyllands-Posten has been the target of a string of attempted and plotted attacks in recent years, as has Kurt Westergaard, the 76-year-old cartoonist who drew the most controversial of the caricatures, featuring the Muslim prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.

In the most serious attack, Somali Mohamed Geele, who like the brothers arrested on Monday was believed to have links to the Shebaab, broke into Westergaard's home in January 2010 wielding an axe, screaming, "You must die! You are going to hell!", according to the cartoonist's testimony last year.

Geele, 30, is serving a 10-year sentence for that attack.