A terror spree in Copenhagen committed by a radical Islamic came to an end early Sunday when Danish police shot and killed the gunman, who had gone on shooting sprees at a free speech event and then at a Copenhagen synagogue, killing two men.
“Denmark has been hit by terror,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said. “We do not know the motive for the alleged perpetrator’s actions, but we know that there are forces that want to hurt Denmark. They want to rebuke our freedom of speech.”
The gunman first fired into a cafe in on Saturday, targeting Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has drawn caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. One man was killed and three police officers injured. The Copenhagen cafe was hosting a free speech event.
The second shooting happened nine hours later outside the city’s main synagogue, where a bat mitzvah was being held. The Jewish victim was Dan Uzan, 37, a longtime security guard for the 7,000-strong community, Reuters reported. “He was guarding a building behind the synagogue during a bat mitzvah when he was shot in the head,” the news service said. Two police officers who were there were slightly wounded.
The attack in Denmark comes weeks after Islamic radicals carried out a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in Paris. In what police say was a separate incident, a gunman in Paris also attacked Jews at a kosher grocery store. In all, people were murdered.
At a news conference Sunday, a top Danish police official said the suspected gunman was someone who had been on the agency’s “radar,” but he did not reveal his identity.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried the attack and said his government plans to encourage a “massive immigration” of Jews from Europe.
“Again, Jews were murdered on European soil just because they were Jews,” Netanyahu said at the start of his Cabinet meeting Sunday. “This wave of attacks is expected to continue, as well as murderous anti-Semitic attacks. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.”