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Denmark arrests eight linked to Al Qaeda for planning bombing attacks - 6 foreign born jihadis had Danish nationality

September 4, 2007

Denmark arrests 'bomb' suspects
Danish police technicians in Copenhagen Danish police cordoned off a part of the capital, Copenhagen
Danish police have arrested eight people with alleged links to al-Qaeda on suspicion of planning a bomb attack.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 29, were arrested in Copenhagen and formed part of a terror cell with links to a senior al-Qaeda figure, police said.

They were of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali and Turkish origin and six were Danish citizens, police said.

Denmark's contribution to the US-led military campaign in Iraq has prompted fears that terrorists may target it.

The country also drew anger from Muslims worldwide after a Danish newspaper last year printed cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

'Unstable explosive'

Police said they raided 11 addresses overnight on Monday in and around Copenhagen.

Buildings in the city's southern suburb of Ishoej and its Noerrebro district - both with large immigrant populations - were among those cordoned off by police.

Jakob Scharf, an official from the Danish police intelligence agency We have prevented a terror attack
Jakob Scharf
Danish police intelligence agency

The suspects had been under surveillance for some time and Danish investigators had liaised with "several foreign co-operation partners" before making the arrests, police said.

Later on Tuesday, two of the suspects, both 21, were remanded in custody for 27 days, with the first 13 days to be spent in solitary confinement.

The six others would probably be released after questioning, said Jakob Scharf, an official from the Danish police intelligence agency.

"We have prevented a terror attack," Mr Scharf said, but he gave no details of what might have been the intended target of the alleged bombers.

"We would describe the main suspects as militant Islamists with international contacts, including leading members of al-Qaeda," he added.

Danish security services have conducted two major raids on suspected terrorists since 2005.

In February, a court sentenced a Danish citizen of Palestinian origin for involvement in a plan to blow up a European target.

Another three defendants in the trial were acquitted. One of them is awaiting a retrial.

And four men arrested last year in the city of Odense are due to go on trial on Wednesday on suspicion of planning terror attacks.

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