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Syrian asylum seeker remains detained in Denmark over terror case

A judge at Copenhagen City Court on Monday extended the custody of a Syrian citizen suspected of being involved in plans to commit terrorism.

Syrian asylum seeker remains detained in Denmark over terror case
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

There is reason to believe that the 31-year-old from Syria intended to commit an act of terror in Copenhagen in November 2016, the judge found, and thereby extended the man’s custody by a further four weeks.

The man, who is an asylum seeker in Sweden, was arrested on December 21st 2017.

Police believe he was working together with a 21-year-old compatriot who was given a prison sentence in Germany in 2017 in connection with the same case. The 21-year-old was sentenced to six and a half years in jail.

According to charges raised by Copenhagen Police against the 31-year-old, the pair planned to attack members of the public in Copenhagen with knives before then detonating one or more bombs.

The plans were foiled when the 21-year-old was stopped at the border with Denmark and later arrested by police in Germany.

During his trial in Germany, it was revealed that the Islamic State (Isis) terror group put the two individuals in contact with each other.

Evidence showed that the 21-year-old had declared himself prepared to kill in the name of Isis, the court in the German case heard.

“We must assume that there was an intention to detonate several bombs,” the judge in that court case said.

Prosecution lawyer Sonja Hedegaard declined on Monday to confirm when a decision would be made over whether the man will be indicted in the case.

Court proceedings in the case have thus far taken place behind closed doors. As such, the nature of evidence against him is unclear.

READ ALSO: Denmark extends detention of Syrian who 'planned terror' in Copenhagen

TERRORISM

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.

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