Four suspected suicide bombers arrested in Copenhagen
From Jyllandsposten (the translation from Danish is mine, as are all mistakes in it):
Four young men between 16 and 20 years of age were taken into custody yesterday in Brøndby (suburb of Copenhagen - Henrik), charged with planning terrorism. The preliminary examination was conducted behind doubly closed doors, but police chief Jørn Bro, Glostrup Police said in a press briefing just before midnight, that the police chose to strike yesterday, since it didnt want to risk that the young men realised their plans.
Glostrup Police and Police Intelligence has been working determinedly since a large weapons find in the Balkans on 19. October, where those arrested in connection with it were found to have connections to Denmark. Yesterday morning, the police struck at addresses in Brøndby, Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, arresting 25 persons. The police were only going for the four young men, though, so the other 21 were released during the day.
"The four youths have been charged with preparing a terrorist attack somewhere in Europe. There have been found explosives, weapons and sniper weapons in the Balkans, that were about to be moved. That has led us to the four young men, who now have been arrested", Jørgen Bro said.
Private dwellings searched
Tonight he wouldnt specify, where in Europe the terrorist attack was to take place, but he didnt want to deny that the goal was in Denmark. In connection with the raids on the addresses in Greater Copenhagen materials were found linking the four youths to preparations for the terrorist attack, and a large amoung of money in the range of 200.000 crowns (about 30.000$ - Henrik) was found, along with technical aids and a large amount of extremist islamic material. It includes phone numbers, address books and other things.
In the press briefing, Jørn Bro hinted at there being a suspicion, that the four youths were to act as suicide bombers, but said that a thoroughgoing investigation now will look into the matter.
The four young men are all of middle-eastern descent, but have grown up in denmark. Three of them live with their parents, while the fourth recently moved into his own place. Only one of them is a Danish citizen.
Have become extremely religious.
"It is not the types that normally call the attention of the police to themselves. We are talking about four young, inward-looking men, who are very tied up in their religious lives. You can see it in their lifestyle, their dress and their movement around the mosques of Copenhagen," said Jørn Bro.
At least to of the youths have only become extremely religious inside the last year, to the amazement of their families. They are of what the police terms mostly secular families, so it has brought some anxiety to the families, that they embraced islam so violently.
The view of the police is, that the terrorist attack was to take place in very short time. The police amongst others bases this upon the preparations that had already been made to move the weapons from the Balkans to a so far unknown place in Europe.
The people arrested in the Balkans have connections both to those arrested, to Denmark and to the rest of Scandinavia. Out of regard to the country´s intelligence service, the police did not wish to disclose where in the Balkans the weapons find has been made.
Massively guarded by police
Jørn Bro, who has a past as leader of Police Intelligence, called the material the police had amassed considerable, and of a kind that has reinforced the suspicion against the arrestees.
"As things are now, we cant rule out that more arrests will be made," Jørn Bro says. The courthouse in Brøndby was massively guarded by police during the six-hour preliminary examination, and when the terror suspects were driven away in civilian patrol cars, they had their faces covered by jackets over their heads. ...
The police at the same time revealed, that investigation is going in in several european countries, and that the four arrestees have travelled abroad several times, but wouldnt say what the destinations of those journeys were.
It is the first time in denmark, that so serious charges have been raised under the new terrorism law. So far, the Al Aqsa society is nearing a charge for collecting money for terrorist groups, while the islamist Said Mansour currently is in custody for inciting to terrorism.
Reuters picked up the story now, adding a few details:
Danish police said they had arrested four Muslim men on Thursday under an anti-terrorism law after a tip-off from a Balkan country that they were involved in planning a terrorist attack.
The police did not identify the Balkan nation but said the tip-off followed the arrest of two people in that country for possession of explosives and weapons.
"We have arrested four Muslim men aged between 16 and 20 years for co-operation in an attempted act of terror," Detective Chief Superintendent Sten Skovgaard told Reuters.
"We believe we can prove a connection between the two people in the Balkan country and the four men in Denmark and have reasons to believe that they were about to plan a terror attack some place in Europe," Skovgaard said.
He said the possible attack could have been aimed at Denmark, which has more than 500 troops serving with U.S.-led forces in Iraq.
A judge ruled the four men should stay in custody until November 16. One of the four is a Danish citizen.
From CNN, more on the Balkans end of the plot:
Danish media quoted Bro as saying that the arrests in Copenhagen were linked to an investigation in the Balkans in which arrests were made and large quantities of explosives were found on October 19.
He did not specify where the Balkan investigation took place but Bosnian police last week arrested three people in Sarajevo on suspicion of preparing terrorist activities.
Police said they found explosives, firearms and other military equipment in connection with those arrests on October 19-20.
According to Sarajevo's Dnevni Avaz daily newspaper, one of the three suspects was an 18-year-old who was preparing a suicide bomb attack on the Sarajevo embassy of an European Union country.
4 suicide bombers against targets in Denmark and one against the Danish embassy in Bosnia, perhaps?
Even more on the Balkans end of the plot, this time from - of all sources - Pravda:
Police have arrested three people in Bosnian city Sarajevo suspected of terrorist activities, police said Friday.
"A Turkish, Swedish and a Bosnian national were apprehended over suspicion that they were preparing terrorist activities. We searched two facilities and found a certain amount of explosives, firearms and other military equipment," police spokesman Robert Cvrtak said.
The group was apprehended on Wednesday and Thursday. Two of the three have been handed over to the prosecutor's office, and the third one will be handed over later, Cvrtak said and refused to give further details.
Sarajevo's Dnevni Avaz daily newspaper quoted unnamed police officials as saying that one of the suspects is an 18-year-old who was preparing a suicide bomb attack on the Sarajevo embassy of an European Union country. The report did not specify which country. The man is a Bosnian national the explosives were found and in his apartment, the newspaper said.
The Swedish national would explain the ties to Scandinavia.