Update 1:33pm EST: The dead perpetrator has been identified as Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein (article in Danish).
From a Danish contact:
He was raised in Denmark. There’s no indication that he’s been in Syria. He’s been convicted for violations of weapons laws.
I’m following the news right now. They seem to have the weapons. That includes one automatic rifle and two handguns. They have searched several other locations in Copenhagen.
The dénouement to yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Denmark must have occurred right after I went to be early this morning: police shot and killed a man near the train station, and they are certain that he is the gunmen who carried out the attacks.
Additional news: the Jewish man who was killed near the synagogue had volunteered to guard the premises while a bat mitzvah took place, due to the heightened security situation after the earlier attack at the café.
Below are excerpts from this morning’s report by The Washington Post:
Danish police kill Copenhagen shooting suspect
COPENHAGEN — Police in Copenhagen killed a gunman early Sunday they believe was responsible for a pair of deadly attacks just hours earlier, the first at a cafe hosting a forum on free speech and the second outside a synagogue where a bar mitzvah was underway.
The killings, with their eerie echo of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris, had sent Denmark’s capital into lockdown and had prompted a massive manhunt that extended across the border into Sweden. In all, the attacks left two people dead and five police officers injured.
Jens Madsen, head of the Danish security agency PET, said in a news conference Sunday that the suspect had been known to intelligence agencies and that they were investigating whether he may have been “inspired by the events in Paris.”
At a news conference on Sunday morning, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said the country had been “hit by terror.”
“We do not know the motive for the alleged perpetrator’s actions, but we know that there are forces that want to hurt Denmark,” the prime minister said, adding that they wanted to stifle Denmark’s freedom of speech.
Local media identified the victims as Finn Noergaard, a 55-year-old documentary filmmaker, and 37-year-old Dan Uzan.
Police said Sunday that they were confident that the man they fatally shot near a train station was the assailant in both attacks and that they had identified him using CCTV footage. Police were staking out a location associated with the suspect when a man approached and began shooting, prompting officers to return fire, a police official said.
“The culprit that was shot by the police task force at Norreport station is the person behind both of these assassinations,” Torben Molgaard Jensen, the chief police inspector, told reporters.
Copenhagen police spokesman Steen Hansen said the suspect’s name is known but will not be revealed at this stage.
“There’s an ongoing investigation, so it’s important for the police to keep his identity to themselves,” he said. He also said a weapon was found, but it was not confirmed whether it was connected to the shootings.
Survivors of the two attacks said they appeared to have been an attempt to mimic the Paris terrorist strikes, when the staff of a satirical newspaper was massacred and four hostages were fatally shot at a kosher supermarket.
The French ambassador to Denmark and a cartoonist — previously targeted for depicting the prophet Muhammad — were among those taking part in the debate at the cafe who survived the torrent of gunfire.
“It was the same intention as Charlie Hebdo, except they didn’t manage to get in,” the French ambassador, François Zimeray, told the news service Agence France-Presse, referring to the Jan. 7 attack in Paris on the satirical publication. “Intuitively I would say there were at least 50 gunshots, and the police here are saying 200. Bullets went through the doors, and everyone threw themselves to the floor.”
Late into the night, police had been hunting for a lone gunman, who fled in a car and had been described as a man in his late 20s wielding an assault rifle. A photo released by Danish authorities showed him wearing a dark-blue ski jacket with a red woolen cap and a matching scarf covering the lower portion of his face.
Police in Sweden, which is separated from Copenhagen by a five-mile-long bridge, also joined the search.
“We feel certain now that it was a politically motivated attack, and thereby it was a terrorist attack,” Thorning-Schmidt said in an appearance near the scene of the cafe shooting. Thorning-Schmidt put the country on high alert, with warnings of a possible follow-up attack.
Just hours later, early Sunday, police said one person was killed and two police officers were wounded in a shooting near a synagogue in downtown Copenhagen. The assailant fled on foot, police said.
Jewish community leaders said that a bar mitzvah service was underway inside the synagogue at the time of the attack and that the man who was killed was a young volunteer guard. Police protection had been stepped up at sensitive sites across the city, including synagogues, after the attack on the cafe.