Copenhagen: Terror arrests (2)

The suspects are male, aged 19-29, and come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Turkey. Six are Danish citizens, two have a residence permit.

A series of raids late Monday night in the greater Copenhagen area likely prevented a terrorist bombing, according to the Police Intelligence Service (PET).

Police, accompanied by bomb experts, searched 11 homes and detained eight men, who Jakob Scharf, PET's director-general, described as 'militant Islamists' with 'direct connections' to international groups such as al-Qaida.

'We believe that today's arrests have prevented a terrorist action,' Scharf stated during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. 'The arrests underscore that there are groups and individuals in Denmark that have the will, the ability and the capacity to carry out terrorist acts.'

Scharf added that the arrests were the culmination of a months-long investigation in which PET worked together with foreign intelligence agencies.

'We made our move now because we had gathered enough evidence to make an arrest, and because several of the suspects had created an unstable explosive in a densely populated housing area,' he said.

Information about possible targets has been withheld due to the on-going nature of the investigation. PET has also been silent about possible motives, though Scharf said the intelligence service did not believe the suspected plot was related to Danish involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The suspects, all Danish citizens or legal residents, will be arraigned later today on charges of planning a terrorist attack.

Source: Copenhagen Post (English), DR (Danish)

See also: Copenhagen: Terror arrests

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