Sunday, June 23, 2024

Denmark and Germany announce arrests of terrorist suspects, including suspected Hamas members

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark and Germany announced Thursday the arrest of multiple terrorist suspects, including Hamas members suspected of planning ongoing attacks on Jews and Jewish facilities in Europe. did. israel-hamas war.

The announcements were made separately, and it was unclear how the arrests were related and whether they were the result of a coordinated action or a single operation spanning continents.

Danish police said three people had been arrested across Denmark and a fourth person was detained in the Netherlands on suspicion of planning to carry out a “terrorist act”.

Copenhagen authorities have given no details other than to say that the arrests have “foreign links” and are “connected to a criminal organization,” which has long been behind feuds, violence, robberies, extortion and robberies. He pointed to the “Loyal to Familia” gang, which is primarily a banned group of immigrants. Drug sales in the Danish capital.

But Flemming Drejer, director general of the Danish Security and Intelligence Agency, cryptically said that police have a “special focus” on Jewish organizations. He said Denmark’s terror threat level was at the “severe” level, the second highest since 2010.

“People living abroad were also charged. “…This is a serious situation,” Drezer told a press conference, adding that the arrests were carried out in “cooperation with foreign partners” and that those arrested were part of a “network.” he added.

He said the suspects were likely to face detention hearings within 24 hours, which would likely be held “double behind closed doors.” This means that the details of the incident cannot be disclosed.

“This is extremely serious,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Thursday from Brussels, where she is attending a European Union summit.

“Of course, in the context of relations with Israel and Gaza, it is completely unacceptable that someone would bring conflicts elsewhere in the world into Danish society,” she added.

Dutch police spokesman Jesse Blobel said a 57-year-old Dutch man was arrested in the city of Rotterdam following a request from German authorities. on tuesday, The Dutch counter-terrorism agency has raised the country’s threat alert to the second-highest level.He said the possibility of an attack in the country had become “grave”.

In Germany, authorities announced that three members were suspects. Palestinian armed organization Hamas He was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of planning attacks on Jewish facilities in Europe.

German federal prosecutors said two men were arrested in Berlin and one man in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and a fourth suspect was briefly detained in Berlin. Authorities identified the men only by their first and last initials, in accordance with German privacy rules.

The four people are Abdelhamid Al-A, who was born in Lebanon. Mohamed B., a national of Egypt; Nahi R. and Ibrahim El R., nationals of the Netherlands, born in Lebanon;

Authorities claimed that three of the men were “long-time members of Hamas and had participated in Hamas activities abroad.” They said the suspect had “close ties to the military leadership” of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann thanked authorities for the arrests and said: “In recent weeks, attacks against Jews and Jewish organizations have increased in our country as well.” israel-hamas war.

It was not immediately clear whether or how the Danish and German arrests were related.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office praised the announcement of the arrest of seven Hamas suspects in Europe, but attributed the arrests to Danish police.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced that Denmark had arrested seven operatives working on behalf of Hamas, “preventing an attack aimed at killing innocent civilians on European soil.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israeli intelligence services “continue to work against Hamas’ intentions and to eliminate its capabilities.”

Conflicts between Danish, German, and Israeli statements could not be quickly resolved.

Earlier this month, European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson warned that Europe faced a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” during the Christmas holiday period. Aftermath of fighting in Gaza.

Denmark’s foreign intelligence agency, known as FE, said Thursday in its annual assessment for 2023 that “the war between Israel and Hamas is a sign of the rapid escalation of unresolved conflicts in Europe’s neighbourhood, causing widespread regional instability. “We have shown once again that this can occur.”


Grieshaber reported from Berlin.

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