Danish television has revealed the identity of the dead gunman responsible for two terror attacks in Copenhagen this weekend, killing two civilians and wounding five police officers.
The suspect has been identified as Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, age 22, born and raised in Denmark, The Telegraph reported.
Hussein had reportedly been released from prison just two weeks ago after serving a prison term of two years for “grievous bodily harm.”
Four more arrests were made Sunday afternoon at a Copenhagen Internet café in connection with the attack, according to the report. Among those taken into custody were a Pakistani national and an Arab, according to Danish media quoted by The Telegraph.
The dead gunman was already on the country’s terror watch list, authorities said — but that did little to prevent this weekend’s attack or even to predict it, an issue that forensic specialists will begin to wrestle with this week. An individual whose name appears on a terror watch list supposedly has already been identified as a terror risk and is under surveillance by law enforcement personnel.
Police said the young terrorist had a criminal record that included gang-related activities as well as offenses with violence and weapons, Fox News reported.
Hussein was shot dead by Danish police in a raid that involved armored vehicles and heavy weapons early Sunday, following the deadly shooting at a free speech event in a café and a second attack that followed a few hours later at the Copenhagen Great Synagogue. To flee the scene of his first attack, Hussein allegedly stole a nearby car and then hijacked a taxi.
Jens Madsen, head of the PET Danish intelligence agency said it was believed the gunman was “inspired” by radical Islam. “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,” Madsen said. Authorities added that Hussein was not known to have traveled outside the country to “conflict areas like Syria or Iraq” for terrorist training — a factor that led them to believe he presented a reduced immediate threat.
French President Francois Hollande visited the Danish Embassy in Paris and noted that the “same targets” were hit in Copenhagen as were struck last month in the attack in France that claimed 17 lives — a venue for “free speech” and a Jewish community site filled with Jews.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also issued a statement of support, saying, “The shootings in Copenhagen are an appalling attack on free speech and religious freedom.”
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe said in a statement, “It is important that we stand together in such a serious situation and guard the values on which Denmark is founded.” The country’s leadership has vowed to “protect our Jewish community” as much “as possible.”
Dan Uzan, 37, the second person to be killed in the day’s shooting spree, was an economist at the Danish treasury identified by Israel’s Foreign Ministry as having an Israeli father and a mother who is Danish. Uzan volunteered as a security guard for the synagogue and was standing outside when Hussein showed up and opened fire at the entrance to the Bat Mitzvah that was in progress. Uzan was shot in the head and died — but stopped the terrorist from taking other lives.
Earlier in the day 55-year-old documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard (known for the 2004 film, ‘Boomerang Boy,’ among others) was the first to die. Noergaard fell to gunshot wounds sustained during the attack at a cafe event organized by Danish cartoonist Lars Vilk which featured a discussion on art and free speech. It was Vilk’s caricatures of Islam’s founder, the prophet Muhammed, which so inflamed the Muslim world a number of years ago.