Copenhagen gunman pledged allegiance to Islamic State

Written by: IANS
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Copenhagen, Feb 17:  The gunman suspected of killing two people in the Danish capital Copenhagen over Saturday and Sunday had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on Facebook, CNN reported on Monday.

The Facebook post pledges "allegiance to Abu Bakr (IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) in full obedience in the good and bad things. And I won't dispute with him unless it is an outrageous disbelief".

Copenhagen: Gunman supported IS

Danish officials identified the gunman as the 22-year-old Omar El-Hussein, who was known to have a criminal past, although Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a press conference on Monday that at this stage, the suspect was not known to be linked to a terror cell.

In the first attack on Saturday, the gunman stormed into a building and opened fire at a meeting on "Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression", in which the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, known for his controversial portrayals of Prophet Muhammad, was participating.

A person was killed and three police officers were injured in the attack.

The second attack, which happened on Sunday, was on Copenhagen's main synagogue. Another person was killed in that attack and two police officers were injured.

Gunman, who had a criminal past, pledged allegiance to IS on Facebook

The gunman initially managed to flee, but was subsequently hunted down and shot dead by the police.

According to media reports on Monday, two men have been arrested by the Danish police on the charges of helping the gunman.

The two have been charged with providing and disposing of the weapon, as well as helping the gunman to hide.

Denmark began the healing process on Monday night with a candlelight vigil at which Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt appealed for national unity. Authorities estimated that more than 40,000 attended the event.

"An attack on Denmark's Jews is an attack on everyone," Thorning-Schmidt said. "The Jewish community is an important part of Denmark. We will stand together and continue the everyday life we know. We stand together as Danes."

The head of Danish intelligence, Jens Madsen, said investigators were working on the theory that El-Hussein could have been inspired by the shootings in Paris last month.

The attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, a kosher supermarket and a policewoman in Paris claimed 17 innocent lives.

Madsen said police were also working to determine whether the man had travelled to Syria or Iraq.


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