Police operation in Copenhagen February 15, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A member of Copenhagen's Jewish community Dan Uzan was guarding outside a bat mitzva celebration at a synagogue in the city when he was gunned down and killed early Sunday morning by a terrorist. Danish media reported that 80 people were attending the celebration at the time.
The attack on the synagogue came hours after the terrorist targeted a meeting at a cafe in the city about freedom of expression and Islam attended by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. One person was killed in the attack on the cafe.
“We had contacted the police after the shooting at Café Krudttønden to have them present at the bat-mitzva, but unfortunately this happened anyway," Copenhagen Jewish community leader Dan Rosenberg Asmussen told Denmark's TV 2 News, as reported in The Guardian
. “I dare not think about what would have happened if (the killer) had access to the congregation."
Danish police said they shot and killed the man responsible for the two shootings later on Sunday.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Sunday released a statement condemning the attacks and calling for global action against "Islamic terrorism."
"The Copenhagen attacks follow the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercasher Islamist terrorist outrages in Paris. It is time for world leaders to acknowledge that this scourge has a name: Islamist Terrorism", said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper of the center.
"It is time for the civilized world led by the US to tackle the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism that threatens peace- loving people of all faiths, as our freedoms of expression and worship are under assault the world over," Wiesenthal Center officials wrote.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder urged the Danish government to step up efforts to protect the local Jewish community against rising anti-Semitic violence.
“The World Jewish Congress deplores these despicable attacks, and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community and the people of Denmark,” Lauder said.
“European governments should recognize that we are facing a vicious new wave of anti-Semitism and violence. It is crucial that Europe contends with this growing threat,” he added.