Before I got up this morning, our Danish correspondent Kepiblanc reported this in our comments:
Early this morning Danish police and intelligence service in a coordinated action arrested several “youths” in various places all over greater Copenhagen. The “youths” are held on “preparations for terror” charges. The army bomb squad was present as was a special “chemical warfare” unit. The actions took place in Ishoej, Nørrebro, Avedøre and Central Amager — all with major immigrant populations.
Now, lessee: Freemasons? Mormons? Buddhists?…
Tundra Tabloids is also on it.
By the time I woke up and checked it out, the ethnic and religious affiliation of the suspects had been announced. Here’s the AP’s version:
Denmark Arrests 8 Terror Suspects
Denmark’s intelligence service early Tuesday arrested eight Islamic militants linked to leading al-Qaida figures, and said the suspects were plotting an attack involving explosives.
“With the arrests we have prevented a terror attack,” said Jakob Scharf, head of the PET intelligence service.
He did not identify the target.
The suspects — six Danish citizens and two foreigners with residence permits — had been under surveillance for some time and were arrested after police gathered enough evidence against them, he said.
– – – – – – – – –
“They also have been producing an unstable explosive in a densely populated area,” Scharf said.
He said Danish investigators had worked with “several foreign cooperation partners” in the probe before they rounded up the suspects, ages 19 to 29.
“Those arrested are militant Islamists with connections to leading al-Qaida persons,” Scharf said without naming those people. “According to our assessment, there is a direct connection to al-Qaida.”
The suspects — of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali and Turkish origin — were arrested without incident, Scharf told reporters. He declined to say whether more people were being sought. Eleven locations were raided in and around Copenhagen, including the Ishoej suburb and the Noerrebro district of the capital.
The TV2 News channel reported a 19-year-old electrician was arrested in Ishoej, while a taxi driver in his early 20s was arrested in Noerrebro.
TV footage shot from a helicopter showed bomb squads and forensics agents at those locations.
Sadiq al-Fatlawi, who said he lives on the floor above the cab driver, told TV2 News that police ordered him and other neighbors to leave the building during the raid because it was dangerous to remain inside.
“When we came down to the (police) van they told us that they had suspicions that there were explosives in the property,” al-Fatlawi said. They were let back in four hours later.
He said the taxi driver was of Pakistani origin and had recently moved in.
The Danish Emergency Management Agency said its chemical unit had assisted the police, but did not give details.
Scharf said the planned attack did not appear linked to the cartoons or Denmark’s involvement in Iraq.
That’s the latest. I’ll report more as it comes in.
Update: Kepiblanc adds this:
Danish police ransacked 11 places and made 8 arrests. All Muslims men aged 18 — 29, 6 with Danish citizenship and 2 with stay permits. Police spokesman J. Scharff said: “strong connections to Al-Quaida” and “evidence of producing unstable explosives for use in Denmark”.