Saturday 17 March 2018

Danish gunman's weapons revealed

A picture of film director Finn Noegaard, who was shot dead on Saturday, lies next to flowers left in Copenhagen. (AP)
A picture of film director Finn Noegaard, who was shot dead on Saturday, lies next to flowers left in Copenhagen. (AP)

The gunman behind weekend shootings at a free speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen used an assault rifle and two hand guns in the attacks.

Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, 22, was killed in a gunfight with police on Sunday after a shooting spree that authorities say may have been inspired by the terror attacks in Paris last month.

In the first attack, El-Hussein killed a Danish filmmaker outside the building hosting the free speech seminar on Saturday with a single shot from an M95 assault rifle, police said. El-Hussein then sprayed the entrance with 27 bullets, wounding three police officers inside.

That type of weapon was used by the Danish military between 1995 and 2010, said Rene Gyldensten, a spokesman for the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation. It is also used by other Nato forces.

It is unclear how El-Hussein came to possess the weapon, which cannot be purchased legally in Denmark.

Investigators said police returned fire, including Swedish officers who were in Copenhagen as bodyguards for Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has received numerous death threats for caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed and who may have been the main target of the attack.

After fleeing the scene, El-Hussein appeared nine hours later outside a synagogue in Copenhagen where he fired nine rounds with two hand guns, killing a Jewish security guard and wounding two police officers. El-Hussein carried the two handguns when he was shot by a SWAT team on Sunday.

Denmark's prime minister and justice minister were among hundreds of mourners at the funeral for the security guard, Dan Uzan. The ceremony was held in the Jewish section of a cemetery in Copenhagen.

A Denmark native with Palestinian parents, El-Hussein had been in and out of prison for violence and weapons offences and had recently served time for a stabbing on a commuter train, court documents show.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service, known by its Danish acronym PET, acknowledged that El-Hussein was flagged in September under a programme meant to alert PET to "inmates who are at risk of radicalisation".

El-Hussein's family have asked for him to be buried in a Muslim cemetery in a Copenhagen suburb but police have not yet released his body, said Kasem Said Ahmad of the Danish Islamic Funeral Foundation.

Press Association

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