Denmark sees 'new indications' of terror attacks

Intelligence service issues warning; 10 detained in Belgian anti-terror sweep; prosecutors say suspects may have links to Chechen terror group.

November 23, 2010 19:02
1 minute read.
Terror threat in Belgium

Belgium city. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

There are "new indications" that Islamist terror groups are seeking to carry out attacks in Denmark, the country's intelligence service said Tuesday.

"Statements from al-Qaida members and related groups underline the militant Islamist terror groups' continued strategic focus on Denmark," the Danish Security and Intelligence Service said in its annual assessment of the terror threat.

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The agency, known by it's Danish acronym PET, said the Scandinavian nation remains a "high-priority terrorist target" because of newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked riots in the Muslim world in 2006. Individuals and locations linked to the cartoon case are specifically at risk, PET said.

It noted a series of recent attempts to carry out attacks in Denmark, including the September arrest in Copenhagen of a Chechen man who accidentally set off a letter bomb that PET believes was intended for the Jyllands-Posten newspaper that first published the 12 cartoons.

"Additionally, there are new indications that terror groups abroad seek to send terrorists to Denmark to carry out terror attacks," PET said in a statement.

It added that some Danish residents have left for conflict zones, primarily in Somalia and Pakistan, to receive militant training or to take part in hostilities against foreign troops or local authorities.

"It is possible that a number of these individuals may return to Denmark and apply their skills to continued terrorist-related activities," PET said.

In related news, ten suspects were detained after an anti-terror sweep in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, federal prosecutors in Belgium said Tuesday.

In a statement, the prosecutors said that those targeted in the sweeps were suspected of planning a possible attack in Belgium. Others were suspected recruiters for an alleged Chechen terror organization.

Ten homes were searched in the three nations on Tuesday morning, and 10 suspects of Belgian, Dutch, Moroccan and Russian nationality were detained.

The statement said that investigation had previously already led to arrests in Spain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

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