Saturday, March 2, 2024

Denmark expands terrorism investigation with arrest of suspected Hamas member in Germany

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark has two people in custody and four others are the subject of a terrorism investigation in an incident that coincided with several arrests in the Netherlands and Germany, prosecutors said Friday. Announced. Person alleged to be a Hamas member.

German authorities said the three people arrested in Germany are suspected of preparing attacks on Jewish facilities in Europe. Danish authorities announced that one person had been arrested in the Netherlands, but it was not clear if there was any connection to Denmark. Hamas investigation in Germany.

Denmark did not mention any alleged links to Hamas in its investigation. The two men, who are being held in Denmark, have been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention until January 9. Danish media identified the two as a man in his 50s and a 19-year-old woman.

Danish intelligence agency PET announced on Thursday that three people had been arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out “terrorist acts”. One of them, identified by Danish media as a 29-year-old man, was released early Friday after an overnight detention hearing in a Copenhagen court, prosecutor Anders Larsson announced.

Larson also said four other people are in “pretrial detention in absentia,” but would not say whether authorities know their whereabouts or whether an active search is underway. There wasn’t. He did not give details, but said: “There are still fugitives.”

Due to a court order, none of the suspects could be identified, and the detention hearing was held “double behind closed doors.” In other words, no details were available about the incident, which is shrouded in secrecy.

German prosecutors claimed the three people detained in Germany on Thursday were previously tasked with uncovering underground Hamas weapons depots set up in Europe. “The weapons were to be transported to Berlin and stored in a ready-to-read condition in view of the possibility of terrorist attacks against Jewish facilities in Europe,” they said.

A judge on Friday ordered three men held in Berlin to be held until they can be charged as members of a foreign terrorist organization, prosecutors said. A fourth suspect in the German case was taken into custody Thursday in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.

German prosecutors said the suspects were “long-standing members of Hamas and had participated in Hamas activities abroad.” They said the suspects had close ties to the military leadership of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

Earlier this month, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson warned that Europe faced a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the Christmas holiday period. israel-hamas war.

In Brussels, where she attended the European Union summit, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen mentioned the incidents in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, but refused to link them. He said the overall picture for European security was worrying.

“We have seen how ships can be attacked in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen,” she told a news conference in reference to ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. collided with a cargo ship It followed another attack on another vessel in the Red Sea on Friday, hours earlier.

“While these incidents are individually serious and concerning, they collectively paint a larger picture: We are facing a much more serious and complex threat landscape,” she said. . “It’s very serious.”

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Associated Press writer Gail Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.





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