Danish Muslim group on international terror list

The Islamic Association in Denmark says it has been wrongly included in a list of groups labelled as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the weekend.

Danish Muslim group on international terror list
In addition to the Islamic Association in Denmark, groups in Sweden and Norway were also on the UAE's terror list. Photo: Peter Helles Eriksen/Scanpix
Around eighty extremist groups were listed by the UAE, with Islamic organizations in Denmark, Sweden and Norway featured alongside the likes of the Islamic State (Isis) and al-Qaeda.
The sole Danish group on the list was the Islamic Association in Denmark (Det Islamiske Forbund i Danmark). Mahammad Fouad Albarazi, an imam with the group, said he “cannot understand” why they were included. 
“They are apparently not making distinctions between the organizations. I completely cannot understand it and I think the United Arab Emirates are just putting organizations on the list without looking into what kind of organizations they are,” Albarazi told TV2 News. 
The UAE's list is part of the country's clampdown on terrorist activities, in line with the anti-terror law issued by President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in August.
On Monday, Nordic terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp told The Local the list was a "game changer", because it "puts terror groups recognized by the EU and the UN alongside a second category of Muslim groups that are certainly not terrorist organizations".
He sad that the UAE had singled out Islamic associations in Scandinavia with links to the Muslim Brotherhood (or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun in Arabic), one of the world's oldest and largest Islamist organizations.
The group was recently in power in Egypt under former President Mohammed Morsi, but was ousted following violent protests in 2013.
"Maybe the UAE does have information that it is not sharing, but I think it is more that these organizations in Sweden and Europe are seen as part of the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood," said Ranstorp.
"The UAE's decision is linked to the politics and power struggles going on in Egypt," he told The Local.
But he added that it was possible that "certain dodgy individuals" in Scandinavian Islamic organizations could be helping to fund the Muslim Brotherhood.
He also said that the new categorization of Scandinavian Islamic associations as "terrorists" could lead to some Muslims being unable to visit family members in the UAE.
"It is unclear exactly how laws will be applied by the UAE but this could lead to restricted travel movements for some people".
The UAE said it would impose harsh penalties on anyone who is connected to groups on its new list.
“Whoever seeks or communicates with a foreign state, terrorist organization or with anyone who works for their interests, to commit any terrorist act, shall be punished with imprisonment for life while the death penalty will be imposed if the terrorist act has been carried out,” reported Gulf News.
In August, the UAE toughened anti-terrorism laws in a bid to stamp out terror financing, hostage-taking, human trafficking and money laundering. The UAE's full list of terror organizations can be seen here

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Denmark strips dual national of citizenship after terror conviction

A court in Denmark jailed a dual Danish-Turkish national for 10 years on Tuesday and stripped him of his citizenship for "planning a terrorist attack".

Denmark strips dual national of citizenship after terror conviction
The court at Frederiksberg ruled a 24-year-old man must be stripped of his Danish citizenship following a conviction on terrorism charges. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

The 24-year-old — who was not named by the court — will serve his prison sentence in Denmark, but will then be deported to Turkey upon release, the court in Frederiksberg said in a statement.

The man, a native of Copenhagen, had been under surveillance by the intelligence services and was arrested in April 2020 immediately after purchasing a gun and ammunition. 

The police had found a flag of the Islamic State group in his home. 

Prosecutors had demanded a jail term of 12 years and had charged him with purchasing weapons and ammunition “with the intent of perpetrating one or more terrorist attacks”.

The potential targets were not revealed.

After the man is deported, he will be banned for life from entering Danish territory. 

“I think he’s been in Turkey fewer times than many other Danish people,” his lawyer, Rolf Gregersen, told the court.

“Denmark must take responsibility for him once he was awarded Danish citizenship. They can’t just stick a postage stamp on his back and send him on his way,” the lawyer was quoted by the Danish news agency Ritzau as saying. 

The Danish intelligence services, which have foiled a number of attacks in recent years, categorise the risk of an attack against Denmark as “serious”, six years after an Islamist-motivated double attack in Copenhagen left two people dead.