Update: The lone gunman who killed two people at a cultural center and a synagogue in Copenhagen, was shot dead by police on Sunday.
The 22-year old suspect, identified as Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, was known to police because of his gang-related activities and possessions of weapons, according to local reports. Police have not yet established a connection with Al Qaeda. The attacks on Danish soil, however, followed the same pattern as the Paris assaults, which first targeted free-speech advocates at Charlie Hebdo and then Jews at the kosher supermarket, killing 17 people in total.
The Danish gunman fired shots at a cultural center on Saturday during a debate on freedom of speech and blasphemy and killed Finn Norgaard, a 55-year old documentary filmmaker. The suspect escaped the scene and later stormed Copenhagen’s main synagogue. Dan Uzan, the 37-year old guard, was killed after getting shot multiple times. Two police agents were injured.
The debate at the cultural center was organized by the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has been on the the most-wanted death lists of Al-Qaeda and ISIS since releasing a series of drawings caricaturing Prophet Muhammad as a dog in 2007. Charb, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist who was killed on January 7, was also on that list.
“We feel certain now that it’s a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack,” said Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Earlier this month, the Ramdam film festival in Belgium was cancelled due to a terrorist threat. Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” a movie shedding light on the occupation of that city in Mali by the militant Islamic group Ansar Dine, had been programmed.