COPENHAGEN: Scandinavian intelligence agencies on Wednesday said they had foiled a “Mumbai-style” plot by militants to massacre staff at a Danish newspaper which published blasphemous caricatures.
Denmark’s PET intelligence service said five suspects had been arrested, preventing an imminent assault on the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten daily in which as many staff as possible would have been killed.
Four men were arrested in Denmark while a spokeswoman for Swedish intelligence agency Saepo said a fifth was arrested in Sweden in connection with the same international plot.
“It is our sense based on intelligence that this is a militant group with links to international terrorist networks,” PET head Jakob Scharf told reporters. They were planning an attack “within the next few days”, the agency said in a statement.
In an email to Danish news agency Ritzau, Danish Justice Minister Lars Barfoed said the arrests prevented what could have been the most serious attack to ever occur in Denmark.
Scharf told the news conference “the plan was to try to gain access to the location of Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen and to try to carry out a Mumbai-style attack”.
“These arrests have successfully stopped an imminent terror attack, where several of the suspects ... were going to force their way into the (building which houses Jyllands-Posten) in Copenhagen and kill as many people as possible,” Scharf was quoted as saying in the PET statement.
Danish intelligence said the four men arrested in Denmark, in the Herlev and Greve suburbs of Copenhagen, were a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Swede born in Lebanon, a 30-year-old Swede and a 26-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2010.