Updates on the Copenhagen Shootings — Dead Gunman Is Named as Known Danish Criminal Omar El-Hussein February 15, 2015

Updates on the Copenhagen Shootings — Dead Gunman Is Named as Known Danish Criminal Omar El-Hussein

*** UPDATE *** February 16, 5 p.m. EST:

The Telegraph has more on El-Hussein, and confirms his Islamic affiliation:

Classmates remember him as a “loner” with a fiery temper. “He loved discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and often told us how he hated Jews,” one said.

He took up kickboxing and stabbed a 19-year-old man on an underground train in 2013. He evaded arrest but was captured two months later in connection with a burglary, Danish newspapers reported.

In prison, he became an Islamist radical, a “homegrown” extremist who came to hate the country where he was born and grew up.

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ABC Australia:

The suspected gunman in two fatal shootings in Copenhagen has been named as 22-year-old Omar El-Hussein, who police said had a history of gang-related violence.

Police raided an internet café close to where El-Hussein was killed and said he may have been inspired by the Islamist attacks in Paris a month ago. Local reports said El-Hussein had been released from prison two weeks ago for assault. Investigators believed he was to blame for killing two men in separate gun attacks — one at a cafe where a debate on Islam and free speech was held, and another at the city’s main synagogue.

The Telegraph (U.K.):

[El-Hussein] was a Danish-born 22-year-old known to police because of past violence, gang-related activities and possession of weapons, police said in a statement on Sunday. …

The Danish Film Institute says the 55-year-old man killed in a shooting at a free speech event in Copenhagen was documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard. The institute’s chief Henrik Bo Nielsen says he was shocked and angry to find out Noergaard was gunned down while attending a discussion on art and free speech. Noergaard directed and produced documentaries for Danish television, including the 2004 “Boomerang boy” about an Australian boy’s dreams to become a world boomerang champion, and the 2008 “Le Le” about Vietnamese immigrants in Denmark.

Intended target Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist, lives another day

Reuters:

Danish media said El-Hussein had been jailed for stabbing a 19-year-old man in the leg on a Copenhagen train in 2013.

The Guardian:

[S]ome time after midnight, 37-year-old Dan Uzan was shot multiple times outside Copenhagen’s central synagogue in Krystalgade and died from his wounds. Two police officers were also shot but survived. Uzan is said to have been a volunteer Jewish guard who was protecting a religious ceremony inside the Jewish center.

The Associated Press:

[Uzan’s] family is active in the community, and Uzan attended Jewish school and joined the community’s security efforts from a young age. … Uzan was a talented basketball player with a degree in politics. He lived in Israel for a while and learned to speak Hebrew fluently. …

A fellow producer described documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard as a fundamentally decent man who “wanted to make a difference.” The 55-year-old Noergaard worked on TV productions about children and their relationship to prisons and minorities in Danish society. On Saturday, he went to a cafe in northern Copenhagen to attend a public forum titled “Art, Blasphemy and the Freedom of Expression.” The event featured Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and had faced death threats because of it.

During the event, a gunman shot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cafe, killing Noergaard. Vilks was unharmed.

The New York Times:

Jorgen Skov, a police inspector, said at a news conference on Sunday in Copenhagen that the police had shot and killed the suspect after he opened fire on officers in the Norrebro neighborhood. The shooter was confronted by the police as he returned to an address that they were keeping under surveillance, Mr. Skov said. The police suspected that the man had been involved in the killings, in part because of information from video surveillance and from a taxi driver who had picked up the suspect. When the suspect returned to his address at 4:50 a.m., the police said, he responded to their shouts with gunfire and was killed.

The police have no indication for the moment that other suspects were involved.

BBC:

Police believe the gunman was acting alone. He was known to them in connection with criminal gangs and had convictions for violent offences and dealing in weapons. “It was the case that when the suspect was shot and killed during police action, he was armed with pistols,” police commissioner Thorkild Fogde told a news conference. He also said police had found a weapon which may have been used in the first shooting.

Newsweek:

“We feel certain now that it was a politically motivated attack, and thereby it was a terrorist attack,” [Danish Prime Minister Helle] Thorning-Schmidt told reporters. … “We are on high alert all over the country.”

(Image by OlofE via Wikipedia)

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