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COPENHAGEN TERROR – ONE YEAR LATER

CPHSHOOTING

Copenhagen terrorist had Quran during attacks

Nearly one year after gunman Omar El-Hussein killed two people Copenhagen, new details have emerged about the terror attack.

Copenhagen terrorist had Quran during attacks
The fact that Omar El-Hussein was in possession of a Quran when shot by police was kept secret for nearly a year. Photos: Københavns Politi; Kristian Brasen/Scanpix
Radio24syv revealed that Omar El-Hussein, a Danish citizen of Palestinian origin, was carrying a copy of the Quran when he was shot and killed by police in the wee hours of February 15, 2015, information that had been kept secret by Danish authorities.
 
According to the radio station, at the time of his death El-Hussein had a Quran on him with a bookmark at Surah 21, ‘The Prophets’, which contains verses about disbelievers of Islam. 
 
A theologian and expert on the Quran at the University of Copenhagen said that although one cannot definitively prove that the 22-year-old El-Hussein was inspired by the scripture, the location of the bookmark could be significant. 
 
“One can imagine that El-Hussein considered his actions to be a continuation of the the Quran's verses on punishing the wicked,” Thomas Jøhnk Hoffmann told Radio24syv.
 
An official report on the February 14-15 terror attack – in which El-Hussein first fired at least 30 shots at a free speech event, killing one, and then killed a volunteer security guard outside of Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue –  made no mention of the gunman’s Quran. 
 
The Danish National Police declined to comment to Radio24syv on why the information wasn’t included, saying that “the involved authorities gave a description that was as precise as possible” in their report. 
 
Former Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET)head Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen said that withholding the information made little sense from a practical standpoint. 
 
“I have a hard time seeing that it would have been out of consideration for the investigation. But it could be that one did not want to contribute to equating Islam with terror and that one wanted to guard against revenge attacks in the days after [the twin shootings],” he told Radio24syv
 
El-Hussein was born in Copenhagen to Palestinian parents who fled to Denmark via a refugee camp in Jordan. Just two weeks before he spread terror through the Danish capital, the 22-year-old was released from prison for a stabbing offence. 
 
It was behind bars that El-Hussein is thought to have become radicalized. He was on multiple occasions flagged up by prison authorities for expressing “extreme” views on Islam and at one point shared a cell with an inmate who openly supported the Islamic State, but PET said that it had “no reason to believe that the now deceased 22-year-old offender was planning attacks” based on the information from the Danish Prison and Probation Service. 
 
In addition to the revelation about El-Hussein’s Quran, TV-2 also reported that seven of the 21 shots fired by police and security guards from within the targeted Krudttønden cultural cafe got stuck in the cafe’s window as the gunman opened fire on a free speech event from the outside. 
 
It is unknown if the shots were unable to pierce through the windows because of inadequate ammunition or because of the angles from which the shots were fired, but a Danish People’s Party spokesman said that the revelation is proof that Danish police were ill-prepared for a terror attack. 
 
“The police should have been ready to withstand a terror attack, and they clearly were not prepared. Denmark has been high on the list of countries that terrorists want to attack, so it is thought-provoking that officers didn’t have ammunition that could shoot through glass. It seems completely useless,” Peter Kofod Poulsen told Politiken. 

CPHSHOOTING

Copenhagen shooter to be subject of new film

Danish film company Zentropa will make a movie about the life of Omar El-Hussein, the 22-year-old Dane of Palestinian origin who killed two men in a Copenhagen terror attack on February 14-15.

Copenhagen shooter to be subject of new film
A police handout showing Omar El-Hussein shortly after he stabbed a man in the leg on a Copenhagen train. Photo: Københavns Politi/Scanpix
Omar El-Hussein, who killed two men and injured six police officers before being gunned down in the early morning hours of February 15, will be the inspiration for a new film from Zentropa, the Danish film company said on Friday. 
 
Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen and director Manyar Parwani are making a film based on the events that surrounded El-Hussein’s actions on February 14-15, when he opened fire on a cafe hosting a free speech debate and later killed a volunteer security guard at Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue. 
 
 
The film, entitled ‘Lukkede øjne’ (Closed Eyes), will “tell the story of Omar El-Hussein and what happened with him before, during and after his actions” according to a press release from the company. 
 
Zentropa said that the film will be fiction rather than a documentary on El-Hussein, but will use his life to describe how a young man born and raised in Denmark could become radicalized. 
 
In the aftermath of the February twin shootings, Danes struggled to comprehend how a young man born in their midst could turn into a cold-blooded killer. El-Hussein is thought to have gone down the path from petty criminal to radical extremist during his time in prison on a stabbing charge. Those who knew him earlier in life described him as a smart and helpful kid who also had a darker side. 
 
 
Aalbæk Jensen said that Parwani, who was born in Afghanistan, is the perfect man to helm the film. Jensen said he never would have greenlighted a film on El-Hussein made by “pig-coloured Danes”.
 
“I think it could be interesting to see a film from someone who has access to the environments that Omar was a part of. I expect that Manyar Parwani has that,” he told broadcaster DR. 
 
Parwani’s last film, 2009’s ‘Himlen falder’ (The sky is falling), was about the infamous real-life 'Tønder case', in which a Danish man allowed a long line of men to sexually assault his two daughters over a period of several years. 
 
 
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