Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2016, 10:12 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Denmark

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Denmark, 30 May 2013, available at: [accessed 28 October 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: The Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands) has developed both short-term and long-term counterterrorism strategies and continued to cooperate closely with the United States on potential terrorist threats. Denmark remained a target of terrorist groups, including al-Qa'ida, due to cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed published in September 2005 and reprinted in 2008. In May, the Danish government released the Government Report on Counter-Terrorism Efforts, which concluded, "The Danish police and justice system carry out law enforcement measures against attempts to commit terrorism, and the legislation in this area is continuously evaluated. In addition, Denmark maintains a counterterrorism emergency and response capability that can be activated in the event of a crisis. Prevention constitutes a key element of the Government's approach, which is why the Government, through an inter-ministerial approach, regularly develops and implements initiatives aimed at reducing radicalization."

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Significant law enforcement actions against terrorists and terrorist groups in 2012, including arrests and prosecutions, follow:

  • On January 10, Copenhagen City Court sentenced ROJ-TV and its parent company Mesopotamia Broadcast A/S METV under Article 1114E of the Fight Against Terrorism Act for promoting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and spreading propaganda in programs that incite terrorism during the period February 2008 to September 2010. Each was sentenced to pay fines of $450,000. In its ruling, the court emphasized that ROJ-TV received funding from the PKK. The court sent to the Danish Radio and Television Council (Council) the question of whether the station's license should be revoked. In September, the Council ordered ROJ-TV to cease broadcasting for two months for failure to maintain archives of programs.

  • On April 27, police arrested three men in Copenhagen on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack against Danish soldiers returning from Afghanistan. The men, a 22-year-old citizen of Jordan, a 23-year-old Turkish man, and a 21-year-old Danish national from Egypt, were arrested in possession of illegal automatic weapons and ammunition at two separate sites in Copenhagen. The individuals were ultimately charged with weapons possession, and, in November, each received a sentence of three-and-a-half years in prison.

  • On May 3, the Danish Supreme Court upheld the sentence of Mohamed Geele to nine years in prison to be followed by expulsion from Denmark. Geele was convicted of attempted commission of an act of terrorism, attempted murder, and aggravated assault of a police officer. The conviction resulted from Geele's January 1, 2010 attack with an axe on cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, one of the creators of the Mohammed cartoons.

  • On May 28, Danish officials arrested a 23-year-old Danish national originally from Somalia, and his brother, age 18, and charged them with receiving terrorism training.

  • On June 4, a Danish court sentenced four men, one Tunisian national and three Swedish citizens of Middle Eastern origin, each to 12 years in prison for planning a gun attack in 2010 intended to kill as many people as possible at Jyllands-Posten, a major Danish newspaper that previously published cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. The court also ordered the men to be expelled from Denmark after serving their sentences and to pay the trial costs. The men were arrested in Denmark in December 2010 after they arrived from Sweden, before the planned attack.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Denmark is one of the 36 member nations of the Financial Action Task Force. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Denmark held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from January 1 – June 30 and had, as one of its four priorities, "A Safe Europe," an initiative "to enhance European police cooperation in the fight against human trafficking, terrorism, and economic crime." One of the key accomplishments during the Danish EU Presidency was achieving European Council support for the creation of a European Passenger Name Record system to ensure law enforcement has the most current tools in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime. Denmark is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and is an active member of the UN, NATO, and the OSCE, as well as Interpol, Europol, Middle Europe Conference, the Bern Club, and the EU Counterterrorism Group.

Denmark continued its capacity building engagement in Afghanistan, particularly with Afghan police forces, and also with anti-piracy operations in the Horn of Africa. Denmark has actively supported activities in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, including technical assistance to the Ethiopian Financial Intelligence Center and other African financial bodies. Denmark supported the First Annual Convention of Counterterrorism Practitioners in Eastern Africa and the Horn, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May, and published a report titled ISSP-CGCC Joint Baseline Study on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa Subregion.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Counter-radicalization programs were first implemented in 2009, empowering local governments to implement initiatives aimed at building tolerance, supporting democracy, and undertaking targeted interventions with radicalized persons. In 2012, the national plan retained the targeted interventions, administered through the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET), and local governments implemented their own individual programs. Denmark continued to base its local counter-radicalization programs on a previously existing, nationwide crime-prevention program of cooperation between schools, social services, and police.

Danish communications efforts to mitigate or counter terrorist propaganda were in the nascent stages. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration funded small grants to two immigrant-focused community groups to train employees on how to post positive messages on the groups' websites and how to counter violent extremist postings.

PET is establishing "Dialogue Forum" as a series of meetings attended by approximately 50 people twice a year in three major Danish cities (Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Vejle). The meetings will afford invited members of the Muslim community the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with PET officials.

The Danish government is continuing two projects previously funded by the EU: "De-radicalization – Targeted Intervention," to create mentoring programs and exit interviews for those desiring to leave terrorist organizations; and "De-radicalization – Back on Track" with the aim of developing methods for helping inmates affiliated with terrorist organizations re-integrate into society after serving a prison sentence. Mentoring programs are continuing at the local level; PET now funds and implements exit interviews. The inmate program continued to be funded through the EU and administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration; 12 mentors have been trained, but mentoring of selected prison inmates was just beginning at year's end.

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