Overview: The Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands) has devoted significant assets to counterterrorism programs, as well as to initiatives to counter violent extremism in Denmark and abroad. Denmark continued to cooperate closely with the United States, the UN, and the EU on specific counterterrorism initiatives, such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). Denmark remained a prominent target for global terrorist groups, including al-Qa'ida, due in part to the crisis that began in 2005 when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published political cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb, and because of Denmark's ongoing counterterrorism efforts, including involvement in the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). No large-scale terrorist attacks occurred within Denmark in 2014.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) estimated that over 110 Danish citizens and residents have voluntarily left Denmark to fight in Syria and Iraq, a significant number of whom have likely fought on behalf of ISIL. Danish security services have focused on addressing the issue of foreign terrorist fighters and monitoring the individuals who have returned; there is concern that Danish fighters could return to Denmark with terrorist training and seek to radicalize others.

Denmark has contributed air strikes, military personnel, and trainers to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

Denmark introduced a national countering violent extremism (CVE) action plan in September 2014 and has already allocated approximately $10 million to CVE efforts.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Denmark continued to use its terrorism legislation from 2006, which allows greater information sharing between Denmark's two intelligence services, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) and the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (DDIS). The legislation also permits official surveillance and wiretapping of terrorist suspects with a valid warrant and sufficient evidentiary proof.

The two Danish agencies most involved in countering terrorist threats in Denmark are PET and DDIS. Danish security and law enforcement organizations have adequate information sharing, thanks to the Danish government's Center for Terror Analysis (CTA), which was established to share information between PET, DDIS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Emergency Management Agency. Denmark also has a national police force, to which all Danish police belong; there are no municipal or regional police.

Denmark continued to support border security via travel document checks for non-Schengen Area travel; has biographic and biometric screening capabilities at ports of entry; shares information within its own government and with other countries as appropriate. Security forces patrol and control Denmark's land and maritime borders. Additionally, Denmark has a very competent Customs and Tax Authority (SKAT). As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Denmark has open borders with its neighbors and there are no passport controls at the land borders or in the airport terminals servicing Schengen Visa area flights.

Counterterrorism-related law enforcement actions include:

  • In October, Moroccan-born Danish citizen Sam (formerly Said) Mansour, commonly known as ''the Bookseller from Bronshoj'' was charged with promoting terrorist propaganda. Mansour was convicted and on December 4, sentenced to four years in prison. Mansour had previously been sentenced, in April 2007, to three-and-a-half years in prison for producing and distributing graphic videos encouraging participation in violent extremism.

  • On October 22, 11 Danish citizens of Kurdish origin were found not guilty of financing terrorism. Their trial began in September 2013. The men, aged 29-73 years, were accused of having collected approximately $23 million for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist organization in Denmark. The defendants had allegedly channeled money to the PKK through the Kurdish-language broadcast station Roj TV. The defendants were acquitted on the grounds that prosecutors could not prove that the defendants knew that the money raised for the television station went to the PKK. The prosecutor has appealed the court ruling.

  • On December 18, Danish police arrested a 21-year-old Danish citizen in the Copenhagen suburb of Allerød and charged him with violating criminal code paragraph 136,1, "inciting terrorism." The defendant is accused of posting a link on his Facebook page to a video of an ISIL spokesperson in Syria. In the video, the spokesperson calls for the killing of citizens from countries taking part in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. The defendant had just returned from Lebanon, where he had been arrested earlier at the Syrian border inside a vehicle filled with weapons and explosives.

  • Also on December 18, a 26-year-old Danish citizen was charged in absentia for violating paragraph 136/2, "explicitly expressing support for terrorism." In late June, the individual had posted on Facebook a number of pictures from the central square of the Syrian city of Raqqa which showed the accused posing next to several severed heads posted on a nearby fence, as well as photos of beheaded bodies filled with bullet holes. The accused was not in Denmark, and was presumed to be in Syria.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Denmark is a member of the Financial Action Task Force), cooperates closely with other Nordic financial intelligence units (FIUs), and is a member of the Egmont Group, a global association of FIUs. Danish authorities can freeze assets within hours or days with a valid court order, however the confiscation process requires a full trial which may take months to years, depending on appeals.

In 2014, Denmark assisted Ethiopia in its efforts to combat terrorist finance, supporting a 17-month intensive capacity building and technical assistance program focused on institutional development within the Ethiopian Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The project has utilized expertise of the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime. As part of this Danish-supported program and an internally developed action plan, Ethiopia has undertaken considerable efforts to enhance its counterterrorist finance legislative framework and has demonstrated significant political commitment to addressing strategic deficiencies.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: The Danish government is committed to close cooperation with international organizations, particularly within the UN framework and through the EU, to ensure that it has both the capacity and the support needed to counter terrorism. Denmark actively participates in the UN, GCTF, EU, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO, Interpol, Europol, the Middle Europe Conference, the Bern Club, and the EU Counterterrorism Group.

Denmark continued to be a close ally in counterterrorism capacity building in Afghanistan, contributing up to 750 troops in 2014, together with police, diplomats, and technical assistants. Afghanistan is also the single largest recipient of Danish foreign aid, receiving nearly US $30 million of non-military aid in addition to significant coalition military support. Afghanistan is currently the centerpiece of Danish efforts to develop an integrated approach where all relevant actors – such as the UN, NATO, individual nations and NGOs – coordinate efforts to systematically strengthen political, development, and security-related efforts.

The stabilization program for the Sahel region, launched by the Danish government in 2013, continued to contribute to international efforts towards preventing the Sahel from becoming a terrorist safe haven.

On April 18-19, the Governments of Burkina Faso and Denmark hosted a GCTF-affiliated workshop focusing on countering violent extremism in West Africa and the Sahel. The workshop aimed at improving understanding of the sources and drivers of violent extremism in the region and discussed concrete ways of addressing the issue.

In June, Burkinabé Minister for Territorial Administration and Security and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN opened the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy meeting where Denmark and Burkina Faso focused on countering violent extremism in the Sahel and West Africa, and forging stronger collaborative international efforts in the region.

Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: In September, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Children, Gender Equality, Integration, and Social Affairs presented an Action Plan to prevent radicalization and violent extremism. This plan details 12 specific areas for improving CVE efforts domestically. The plan calls for strengthening local officials' actions by expanding the legal authority to use social services for persons aged 18 to 25. (Note: the authority previously existed only for minors below the age of 18.) This change is expected to improve cooperation between social workers, local law enforcement, schools, and national counterterrorism experts (PET and DDIS). The Action Plan also funds additional training for recognizing signs of radicalization to violence. Other parts of the Action Plan include monitoring of online extremist content; improving prevention methods by providing mentors, and encouraging youth to attend youth dialogues; and establishing a new exit center to help those at risk of radicalization. The third group of efforts includes the creation of a new Nordic Ministerial Network to coordinate CVE efforts across the region and pursue specific engagement with developing countries via Denmark's Peace and Stabilization Fund, a part of Denmark's foreign aid. The new CVE Action Plan also calls for mobilizing civil society by increased dialogue with PET, creating a new national hotline for parents and caregivers to report concerns, and providing training for civil society on how to recognize radicalization and react appropriately. Denmark's CVE Action Plan now includes funding for law enforcement to provide strategic communication and counter narratives online in addition to continuing offline efforts. The exit program frequently uses individuals who can debunk the glorification of terrorism and the mystique of becoming a foreign terrorist fighter, as well as support for civil society groups includes training for an NGO that promotes stories of victims of terrorism.

Denmark has law enforcement resources dedicated to monitoring of internet-based violent extremist messaging. Under the 2014 national CVE action plan, Denmark will coordinate at a national level prior work with counter-narratives, including voicing stories from victims and families affected by violence and from former foreign terrorist fighters. Denmark provides training and resources to civil society groups seeking to present alternative narratives.

The exit program was initially designed to allow members of criminal gangs find a way out of the gang and back into lawful society; it has since been adapted successfully for use with extremists as well. The program provides a case manager, job training and placement, housing assistance, and other social services as needed to transition gang members or extremists back into productive members of society. In addition, the prison system provides a number of educational and vocational resources to all criminals.


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