Denmark Terror Attacks and Machine-Gun Censorship
Yet another attack on religious freedom in Europe.
Daily Beast foreign editor Christopher Dickey reports (“Barely a Month After Charlie Hebdo, Twin Terror Attacks Hit Denmark“) on yet another attack on religious freedom in Europe:
In normally quiet Copenhagen on Saturday afternoon, a gunman opened up on a café where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was to talk about why he drew the head of the Prophet Muhammad on the body of a dog back in 2007—and why he’d had to have armed guards since. Dozens of bullets blasted through the café windows, killing one person and injuring others before the attacker or attackers, at first believed to be two men, made an escape along narrow Sankt Peders Straede.
With the Danish capital on virtual lockdown, the killing continued, and the next target—in what is becoming a predictable pattern in Europe’s new age of terror—appears to have been a synagogue. It was the city’s most important, in Krystalgade, less than a ten minute walk from the scene of the first shooting. One person was killed nearby with a gunshot to the head and two police officers were wounded before the shooter fled once again.
Early Sunday morning, according to the BBC, police had staked out an address in the largely immigrant Norreboro district. When the man they were waiting for returned, he pulled out a gun and the Danish cops killed him.
“We assume that it’s the same culprit behind both incidents, and we also assume that the culprit that was shot by the police task force… is the person behind both of these assassinations,” Chief Police Inspector Torben Molgaard Jensen told a news conference.
Danish authorities were appropriately cautious about assigning motives since no claim of responsibility has been made, but from the beginning there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that these were terrorist attacks along the lines of the slaughter at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last month, which also published caricatures of the Muslim prophet, and at a kosher supermarket where Jewish hostages were murdered. In all, 17 people were killed by terrorists in Paris over three days before all of the gunmen were shot down in separate police raids. In Copenhagen, the death toll stood at two civilians, with five police officers wounded and one potential suspect dead.
Now, as with the slaughter in Paris, the challenge for authorities will be to determine not just who did the shooting, but what connections that killer or those killers may have to larger organizations like the so-called Islamic State, widely known as ISIS, or Al Qaeda and its subsidiary Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In the terror attacks that struck Paris last month, the killers at Charlie Hebdo claimed connections to AQAP, while the thug who shot a policewoman and then took over a kosher delicatessen where he murdered four Jewish shoppers pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Conceivably the attacks in Copenhagen may have been the work of a lone gunman, but even if the man shot dead Sunday morning proves to have been the only killer at large in these incidents, it probably will take investigators a long time to unravel his potential links to others.
Dickey recounts the long string of such incidents since the killing spree sparked by some cartoons printed in Jyllands-Posten a decade ago.