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ISIS

Danish jihadist ‘possibly’ in Isis beheading video

A report that a Dane may have “possibly” been among the militants shown beheading Syrian soldiers in the latest propaganda video from Isis has caused confusion within Denmark.

Danish jihadist 'possibly' in Isis beheading video
A family-released photo shows Peter Kassig in front of a truck somewhere along the Syrian border between late 2012 and autumn 2013. AFP Photo/ Kassig Family handout
The news agency AFP reported on Monday that “known foreign fighters, including at least one Frenchman and possibly a Briton, an Australian and a Dane” appeared in a graphic 16-minute Isis video released over the weekend that showed the beheading of at least 18 Syrian soldiers and the severed head of American aid worker Peter Kassig. 
 
But a well-respected Danish Middle East expert has suggested that a common mix-up may be behind the report. 
 
Naser Khader, a former MP and current senior fellow at the Washington DC-based Hudson Institute, told Jyllands-Posten that he has spoken with AFP’s source, Aymenn al-Tamimi, and received different information. 
 
“He is sure that a Frenchman, a Brit and an Australian were involved and he said that there could have been a Dutch citizen as well. ‘Dutch’ has possibly become ‘Danish’,” Khader told Jyllands-Posten
 
“He didn’t say there was a Dane involved, although you cannot rule it out,” he added. 
 
 
Neither the domestic intelligence agency PET or the Foreign Ministry have commented on the report that a Dane was involved. 
 
Khader said that even if this report turns out to be untrue, it may be just a matter of time until a Dane is definitively involved in an Isis propaganda video. 
 
“It has been proven that they choose different nationalities – primarily Western – in order to recruit even more. It’s to send a signal that ‘we are like you, come and fight with us’,” he said. 
 
French authorities confirmed on Monday that a French national can be seen among the Isis militants who beheaded at least 18 Syrian soldiers in a gruesome video.
 
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve identified the man as 22-year-old Maxime Hauchar from Normandy in northwestern France, adding that the suspect "left for Syria in August 2013 after a short stay in Mauritania in 2012".
 
The Islamist group's video shows the beheading of at least 18 Syrian soldiers and the severed head of 26-year-old Kassig, who was abducted in Syria on October 1st, 2013. US President Barack Obama confirmed Kassig's death on Sunday, calling it "an act of pure evil".

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POLICE

Six arrested in Denmark raid for suspected Isis links

Six men suspected of being members of the so-called Islamic State (Isis) group or funding it were arrested in an anti-terror raid in Denmark on Tuesday, police said.

Six arrested in Denmark raid for suspected Isis links
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The suspects, whose identities were not disclosed, are aged between 27 and 35, police in East Jutland said.

Two of the suspects were arrested in the Danish capital Copenhagen and the four others in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-biggest city.

“Two of the people arrested, a man aged 29 from the region of Aarhus and a 30-year-old man living in Copenhagen, are suspected of penal code violations… for having travelled to Syria in 2014, where they were recruited by the terrorist organisation Islamic State,” police said in a statement.

The 29-year-old is also suspected of having tried to return to Syria in early 2015 to rejoin Isis.

Under his instruction, the four other suspects are accused of having acted as “intermediaries” and having sent money to the organisation.

According to Danish intelligence service PET, at least 160 people have travelled from Denmark to fight in Syria or Iraq. About a third of them have been killed in action, 32 are still there and around half of them have either returned to Denmark or another country.

Jihadism is considered the biggest threat to Denmark’s national security, according to PET.

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