2007 bomb plot in Copenhagen
|Alleged 2007 bomb plot in Copenhagen|
|Date||4 September 2007|
|Target||several targets in greater Copenhagen area, Nørreport station|
On September 4, 2007 eight people suspected of planning a terror attack were arrested by Danish police officers and Security Intelligence Service agents in several coordinated actions throughout the greater Copenhagen area.
Police, accompanied by bomb experts, searched 11 homes and detained the eight men, who are described as militant islamists with direct connections to international groups such as Al-Qaeda. Information about possible targets has been withheld due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
The eight suspects, between 19 and 29 years old, were of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali and Turkish origin. Six are reportedly Danish citizens. According to the BBC, six of the eight were released after questioning. Two suspects (see below) have been remanded in custody for 27 days. Their names were not released to the public.
The locations of the arrests are below. At Glasvej in the northwest of Copenhagen:
- Hammad Khuershid: A man aged 21, of Pakistani ethnicity. Originally remanded in custody for 27 days.
- XK: A man aged between 24 and 25, of Pakistani ethnicity.
At Landlysstien in Ishøj:
- XA: A man aged 19, of Turkish ethnicity.
- Abdoulghani Tokhi: A man aged between 18 and 20, of Afghan origin.
- ST: A teenager aged 15–16, of Afghan origin, and the younger brother of AT.
- AGT: A man aged 21, of Afghan origin. He was arrested at his apartment in Rebslagerporten. Remanded to custody for 27 days.
The location of where the two last arrested is not known at the time:
- NN: A man aged between 19 and 29, of Somali origin.
- NN: A man aged between 19 and 29, of either Pakistani, Afghan, Turkish or Somali origin.
The suspects had been under surveillance for an extended period of time and the arrests were the result of a months-long investigation.
After the arrests it was announced that Matas, Denmark largest drug store chain, is co-operating with domestic Security Intelligence Service to keep tabs on the sale of substances that can be used to make bombs for terrorist attacks. Common household items such as acetone, saltpetre and hydrogen peroxide can - when mixed with other substances - be used to create an explosive cocktail. Sales of more than two containers of the substances on a list compiled to any one customer is registered by the shop's employees on a special form. The information is then passed on to the police. Matas has instituted the new rules at all its 292 shops across the country.
Information about possible targets has been withheld due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. However, one of the targets the terrorist may have planned to attack was Nørreport station, the busiest train station in Denmark that serves 300,000 people a day.
The terrorist attack was possibly a response to the Danish involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the 2005-2006 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
On Tuesday October 21, 2008, The Danish court in Glostrup, a suburb of Copenhagen, convicted Hammad Khürshid, a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin and Abdoulghani Tokhi, an Afghan, and sentenced them to 12 and seven years in prison, respectively. The court said during sentencing that Abdoulghani Tokhi, who has a Danish residence permit, would be expelled after serving his sentence.
During the trial, prosecutors said Hammad Khürshid had links to Al Qaeda. During searches of his home in Denmark, police found a handwritten bomb-making manual written by Hammad Khürshid while at the pro-Taliban Lal Masjid, the socalled Red Mosque, in Islamabad during the winter and spring of 2007. Hammad Khürshid admitted he later went to the Taliban-controlled Waziristan region, but denies receiving any military training there. Hammad Khürshid and Abdoulghani Tokhi pleaded innocent saying that the explosives were to be used for fireworks.
- "Arrests 'prevented' terrorist bombing". The Copenhagen Post. 2007-09-04. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- "Denmark arrests 'bomb' suspects". BBC News. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- Ellegaard, Carsten; Morten Vestergaard (2007-09-05). "Anholdte overvåget i månedsvis" (in Danish). Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- "Terror arrests made". The Copenhagen Post. 2007-09-04. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- "Drug store helps in terror fight". The Copenhagen Post. 2007-09-06. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
- "Danish arrests 'prevent terrorism'". CNN Europe. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- Berg Sævereid, Harald (2007-09-05). "- Hadde blitt et blodbad" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- Andersen, Ingunn (2007-09-05). "- Muhammedstriden gjorde Danmark til terrormål" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- "Press Release". Oestre Landsret. 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- "Danish Al Qaeda Cell". Global Security. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-10-21.