Warrant out for Danish ‘severed head’ jihadist

For the first time, Denmark has taken legal action against citizen who has fought in Syria, while another Dane was arrested in a Copenhagen suburb for posting extremist material online.

Warrant out for Danish 'severed head' jihadist
The man also uploaded two pictures of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of which carried the caption: "I sacrifice myself for you." Photo: Stringer/Scanpix
Danish police Thursday issued an arrest warrant in absentia for a Danish fighter in Syria who posed with severed heads and said another Dane who travelled to Syria had been held.
Copenhagen Police said the warrant from the 26-year-old man was issued for condoning acts of terrorism after he posted some photographs on Facebook.
The pictures showed the man “standing in front of some severed heads, and… wearing a shoulder strap with the Arabic text for the Islamic State (Isis),” a police statement said.
“The pictures appear to be taken in the city of Raqqa in Syria, which is an area controlled by Isis, where the accused is presumed to have stayed in July 2014 when the pictures were published on his Facebook profile,” it said.
The man also uploaded two pictures of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of which carried the caption: “I sacrifice myself for you.”
“It's not a question of mere expressions of sympathy for terrorist organisations but of approval of actual terrorist acts,” chief prosecutor Dorit Borgaard said.
An international arrest warrant would also be issued for the man, who went missing on September 2nd last year.
Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defence College, told The Local that viewing the photos posted by the man made him “feel sick”.
“In the photo, he is wearing a sash with an Isis logo, he has a hand grenade, an automatic weapon and a sidearm. It's almost like posing near a wild animal shot in Kenya – it's that same sort of trophy shot. He's even smiling as well,” Ranstorp said. 
Danish police also said a 21-year-old man from Allerød, around 30 kilometres (19 miles) northwest of Copenhagen, had been arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of spreading “extremist video material” on the internet.
The man “departed in 2013 for Syria, and has since his return to Denmark been in the police spotlight,” the regional police said in a separate statement.
Denmark has drawn international attention for offering counseling and mentorship programmes to radicalised youth who travel to Syria.
But it has not until now charged anyone for crimes committed in Syria, and the softly-softly approach has come under fire from the right wing opposition and the anti-immigrant Danish People's Party, which want to see more Syria fighters prosecuted.

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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.