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Danish police arrest three in major police anti-terror raid

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Danish police arrest three in major police anti-terror raid
Flemming Drejer, operative leader of the PET intelligence service (R), and Peter Dahl, senior inspector with Copenhagen Police, brief media after terrorism-related arrests in Denmark on December 14th 2023. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

A major police action on Thursday morning resulted in three arrests in Denmark, while a related arrested was made by police in The Netherlands. The three arrested persons in Denmark will face preliminary terrorism charges.

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Some detail of the police raids was given at a press briefing on Thursday afternoon by Flemming Drejer, operative leader of the PET intelligence service, and Peter Dahl, senior inspector with Copenhagen Police.

But Drejer said that little information could be released at the current time due to authorities’ preference to conduct court hearings behind “double closed doors”.

That means police request to the court that no information relating to potential charges will be made public during or following the hearing, with media not permitted to be present at the hearing.

The three people who were the target of the police action “have now been arrested and are in our custody,” Drejer said.

Raids were still ongoing at addresses across the country at the time of the briefing, he added.

“The three people will be charged with violating the criminal code's provision on terrorism,” Drejer said, adding that they would be brought before a judge with a view to being placed in police custody later on Thursday.

The arrests were made as the result of what Drejer called a “security action” which was “based on an intensive investigation in cooperation with our foreign partners”.

READ ALSO: PM Frederiksen says police arrests over suspected terror plans 'very serious'

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“I can say that our investigation revealed that a network of persons were engaged in preparing a terror act. We have moved against it at an early stage. We would call it a security operation,” he said.

The intelligence chief said no further detail could be given on the “motive or target” of the plans.

He confirmed however, a link to organised crime group Loyal to Familia (LTF), which was in 2021 legally dissolved by the Danish Supreme Court.

He also said connections had been identified with “persons who live in Denmark and abroad”.

Neither Drejer nor Dahl gave any detail of the type of extremism involved in the arrests but the latter noted there would be increased police presence on central Copenhagen’s streets, with Drejer saying authorities were “paying attention to Jewish locations”.

Denmark’s terror alert level is unchanged at 4 on a scale of 5 following Thursday’s events.

Drejer said that, despite the security operation, the risk to members of the public of being affected by terror remains “vanishingly small”.

“It will still be Christmas in Denmark and we should still do the things we usually do, with the alertness we normally have here in Denmark,” he said.

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