Thursday, November 03, 2005

Danish terror cell may have targeted Danish-Israeli football match

Im sorry I havent been reporting on the terrorist cell exposed here in Denmark, but its quite hard to get a full picture of it all from the multitude of snippets that have gotten into the press, and it hasnt gotten any easier after the police decided to put a lid on the case:

Friends of one of the six youngsters suspected of planning a terrorist attack have been making repeated attempts at slipping secret messages into his prison, police in the Copenhagen suburb of Glostrup said on Tuesday.

National broadcaster DR reported that the police feared that the detainees' accomplices were trying to warn him or pass on to him information about the investigation from outside the prison.

Police had therefore decided to put a lid on information to the media about the terrorist cell. Six of its suspected members were arrested in the capital area on Thursday and Saturday after their names were linked to a large arsenal in Sarajevo last week, which included explosives, sniper weapons, and vests used by suicide bombers.

Tuesday, November 1st saw police arrest a 22-year-old man, thus bringing the total number of suspects under arrest to seven in Denmark and two in Bosnia. Another three suspects are on the run in Bosnia, and police have not ruled out that more will be arrested in Denmark. At the same time, the investigation broadens to also take a break-in in a Bosnian arms depot and an attempt to smuggle explosives into Denmark in September into account (from Jyllands-Posten, my translation):

According to the Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz, the police in the city of Pale wednesday received report, that there had been a break-in in a military depot in the city Jahorinski Potok near Pale. The depot belongs to the army in the Serbian part of Bosnia, Republika Srpska.

The spokesman of the army confirms, that a number of detonators were stolen. But Dnevni Avaz brings into knowledge, that explosives were also stolen, probably a long time before it was reported to the police, and discusses therefore a possible connection with the arrests of eight terror-suspects in Sarajevo and Denmark. According to the information in possession of the paper, investigators are currently looking for a possible connection. ..

At the same time, a weapons find on the Gedser Ferry is also considered in connection with the investigation. On 10. September German customs agents found five packages of the military explosive TNT in a plastic bag in a bus on its way from Sarajevo to Sweden through Denmark, and the police now look on that find with new interest, says police chief Sten Skovgaard Larsen, Glostrup Police:

"It would be bad police work, if we didnt have a look on cases that are similar to those we are investigating. We dont know as of yet, what significance it may have. But the case obviously has interesting aspects for us," he says.

According to NDR, the Bosnian had hidden the explosives (around 1 kilogramme) in a plastic bag in a box for pastries. It was found during a routine search for smuggled cigarettes. Finally, today it emerged that the possible target of the terror cell might have been a football match played today between a Danish and an Israeli team (from Politiken, my translation):

One of the youths who is charged with being a member of a terror cell, was stopped by police 14 days ago outside Br√łndby Stadium.

The police thinks, that the young man and his companion acted suspiciously, TV-Avisen (Danish public TV-stations news show - Henrik) says.

Suspicions about terror against Israel match

Glostrup Police now investigates, whether the two men were reconnoitering as part of terror-plans leading up to the UEFA match with the Israeli team Maccabi Petah Tivka.

Since it is an Israeli team, Glostrup police already had a heightened level of readiness surrounding the match.

Large numbers of police are in place to protect players and the expected 29.000 spectators against terrorist attack. The match starts at 8.30 PM.

Close call, if the suspicions prove to be reality.



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