The Danish security police PET held a press conference on Friday morning after the Danish and German police attacked a group that is suspected of having obtained explosives and forged terrorist plans.
A total of 14 people have been arrested and three Syrian brothers have been singled out as principals.
13 of the 14 suspects were arrested in a raid on Danish Zealand between Saturday and Monday. The fourteenth person was arrested in Germany. Suspicion of terrorism has been leveled against several people on both sides of the border.
Seven people are in Danish custody on suspicion of having planned one or more terrorist attacks, or for having been involved in trying to carry out an attack, according to the Danish security police PET.
The accusations are that they have accumulated weapons and components to build explosives, or have helped with this.
Magnus Ranstorp: “Serious situation”
Lene Sørensen, chief of police in central and western Zealand, says during Friday’s press conference that plans have been made to carry out terrorist attacks either in Denmark or in Germany.
Flemming Dreyer, chief operating officer at PET, says that a major investigation is now underway together with the German authorities and that it will probably not be possible to answer so many of the press’ questions.
However, Dreyer says that a terrorist attack was not imminent when the suspects were arrested:
- It is our assessment that there was no imminent danger.
Swedish terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp says that the police were sparse with information during the press conference, but states that this is a serious matter.
- There are quite a few arrested. It was said that various seizures had been made and that it was partly about chemicals and also components for explosive charge, but also hunting weapons and an IS flag. All in all, it gives the impression that they were about to do something. It is a serious situation, but you are very sparing with details.
Three people were singled out as leading figures in the group of suspects. There are three brothers – 33, 36 and 40 years old respectively – who come from Syria, reports the German newspaper Der Spiegel, among others.
Two of them were arrested in the raids in Denmark, along with a number of chemicals. The third was arrested somewhere in the German state of Hesse.
During a raid on a home in the German town of Dessau, in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, ten kilos of gunpowder and a homemade flag were found, which were decorated by the extremist group IS symbol.
Minister: Still hot
Denmark’s Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup (S) writes on Twitter that what has happened so far shows that there is still a major terrorist threat against Denmark.
“But we have a skilled and vigilant police officer who has proven that it can protect us,” he continues.
Hækkerup also thanks the authorities in Germany, with whom PET, according to him, has had good cooperation in the case in question.
See the entire press conference here