Danish officials revealed today that the gunman who attacked a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen, killing two people and wounding five, was known to them and had a violent past, BBC News is reporting. They also revealed that he was born in Denmark and that he was 22-years-old.
At a Sunday news conference in Copenhagen, police commissioner Thorkild Fogde confirmed that the gunman was armed when he was shot and killed by police.
“It was the case that when the suspect was shot and killed during police action, he was armed with pistols.”
Fogde also revealed that the gunman, who they suspect acted alone, had previously been arrested for violent offenses and weapons trafficking and was known to be involved in gangs.
Jens Madsen, of the Danish intelligence agency (PET), said that Danish authorities believe the gunman was motivated by radical Islam, according to Fox News.
“PET is working on a theory that the perpetrator could have been inspired by the events in Paris. He could also have been inspired by material sent out by (ISIS) and others.”
Investigators are also considering the possibility that the Copenhagen gunman might have traveled to Iraq or Syria.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has urged Muslims to carry out so-called “lone wolf” terrorist attacks against Western targets, and indeed, many have done so. Terror attacks in Montreal, Dijon, and even New York, among other places, have all been carried out by radicalized Islamists acting alone, and who may have been answering ISIS’ call to action.
BBC News, meanwhile, has provided the following timeline of the events in Copenhagen.
- The first of two Copenhagen shootings took place Saturday morning (Copenhagen time) when the gunman fired approximately 40 rounds at the Krudttønden Café, where a debate on free speech was taking place. One person — Danish film director Finn Nørgaard — was killed, three police were injured.
- The gunman fled the scene in his car; the car was later found abandoned.
- Some time later, the gunman called a taxi and was taken to an address in Copenhagen’s Norrebro district. The taxi driver provided information to police that ultimately led them to the unidentified gunman.
- Early Sunday morning, just after midnight, the gunman opened fire on a synagogue, killing a guard — Dan Uzan — and injuring two police officers.
- At about 4:50 Sunday morning, police conducting surveillance at the Norrebro address came under fire. They returned fire and killed the gunman.
This is still a developing story. More information about the Copenhagen attacks, including the identity of the suspected gunman, will be published as it becomes available.
UPDATE: The Guardian is reporting that the gunman’s name is Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein.
[Image courtesy of: BBC]