Copenhagen gunman used assault rifle, 2 handguns

Hundreds of people gather for a vigil near the cultural club in Copenhagen, Denmark.  

Danish police say 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 fire-fight with police early on Sunday after a shooting spree that authorities say may have been inspired by the terror attacks in Paris last month.

The Copenhagen Police confirmed his identity late on Tuesday, after several media, including The Associated Press, had already confirmed it through sources. 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 a M95 assault rifle, police spokesman Joergen Skov 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 Organization. It is also used by other NATO forces.

“It could be one of our weapons,” Mr. Gyldensten told The Associated Press on Wednesday, adding that police had not yet asked the Defence Ministry to check serial number records.

It was unclear how el-Hussein obtained the weapon, which cannot be purchased legally in Denmark.

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. Mr. Skov says el-Hussein carried the two handguns when he was shot by a SWAT team early on Sunday.

A funeral for the security guard, Dan Uzan, was scheduled for later Wednesday 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 on Tuesday that el-Hussein was flagged in September under a program meant to alert PET to “inmates who are at risk of radicalisation.” What prompted prison authorities to sound the alarm is unclear, but PET said that the information gave the agency “no reason to believe” that he was plotting attacks.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 8:23:05 AM |

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