Copenhagen: Denmark prepared today to bury a Jewish man killed in a weekend shooting spree as questions mounted about whether more could have been done to prevent the attacks. Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old volunteer security guard, was killed outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue in the second of two shootings that sent jitters across Europe.
Security services in Denmark have come under scrutiny over what action had been taken to prepare for possible attacks in the wake of the Islamist killings in Paris just weeks before.
Danish intelligence acknowledged yesterday that the suspected gunman, identified as a 22-year-old with a history of violent crime, had been had been flagged up as being at risk of radicalisation while he was in prison. But police dismissed criticism they had failed to boost security after the Paris attacks in January that killed 17 people including four Jews.
“The security level was raised after the incident (in Paris),” Peter Dahl, a senior police official, told the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
But members of the Jewish community in Denmark have said they did not notice any increased police protection ahead of the Copenhagen attacks, according to the paper. The gunman, now formally identified by police as Omar El-Hussein, launched his rampage on Saturday, first iring off dozens of rounds outside a cultural centre where a debate on Islam and free speech was taking place.
Finn Noergaard, a 55-year-old Danish documentary film director, was shot dead and three police officers were wounded. Several hours later, El-Hussein opened fire outside the main synagogue in the Danish capital where a bar mitzvah was being celebrated, killing Uzan and injuring two policemen.
The attacker, a 22-year-old Dane of Palestinian origin, died in a hail of police bullets in a pre-dawn shootout on Sunday. Two men have been charged with helping him dispose of his weapon and giving him somewhere to hide.