Arrests in Denmark, Germany for planning of terrorist attack

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Thirteen people have been arrested in Denmark in the last week for acquiring firearms and ingredients to make explosives on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack in either Denmark or Germany, Danish police told reporters at a briefing on Friday. 

All but one of the suspects were arrested in Denmark. Three of them were Syrian nationals, aged 33, 36 and 40, who were arrested last weekend.

Authorities in Germany and Denmark initially on Thursday announced eight arrests, and on Friday, another six people were held, police said.

(FILE) – Danish forensic technicians in Hazmat suits are present in Apotekerhaven in Holbaek, Denmark, 06 February 2021. Danish police searched addresses in Apotekerhaven and on Anders Larsensvej in Holbaek this weekend. Several persons were arrested for alleged terrorist attack plan. It was part of a larger case with connection to Germany. EPA-EFE/presse-fotos.dk

All the detention hearings in Denmark were held behind so-called double closed doors, meaning the case is shrouded in secrecy and few details are made public. The Danish Security and Intelligence Service is planning a news conference later in the day.

The agency, known by its Danish acronym PET, said Thursday that the people arrested in Denmark were suspected “of having acquired ingredients and components for the manufacture of explosives, as well as weapons, or having participated in this.”

The persons’ identities and other nationalities were not made public.

Earlier, German authorities had announced the first three arrests — two in Denmark and one in Germany. They said the suspects were alleged to have purchased several kilograms (pounds) of chemicals in January that could be used to manufacture explosives.

A search of a residence in the city of Dessau-Rosslau, between Naumburg and Berlin, turned up 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of black powder, and fuses, the German prosecutor said. More chemicals were seized in Denmark.

PET said those arrested in Denmark are suspected of “having planned one or more terrorist attacks or participated in attempted terrorism.” It did not say where such an attack would take place.

Main Photo: The residential area Apotekerhaven in Holbaek, Denmark, 12 February 2021. Danish police searched addresses in Apotekerhaven and on Anders Larsensvej in Holbaek this weekend. Several persons were arrested for alleged terrorist attack plan. It was part of a larger case with connection to Germany. EPA-EFE/Claus Bech

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