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Two Danish terrorism suspects bailed

Written by: Staff

ODENSE, Denmark, Oct 27 (Reuters) Danish authorities bailed two of seven young Muslim men accused of plotting to carry out a bomb attack in Denmark today, while the remaining five face a custody hearing next week.

Police said the two men had been released by prosecutors because they could not hurt the investigation by tampering with evidence, but said their release had no bearing on the case against the five who remained in custody.

''The two released men are still suspects under preliminary charges,'' Odense Deputy Chief Constable Arne Gram told Reuters.

The seven, aged between 18 and 33, were arrested in Odense in central Denmark in September under anti-terrorism laws introduced after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Authorities said the men had collected materials to make explosives for a serious attack in the Nordic country, which has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The potential target has not been revealed.

On hearing the news, visitors at a local mosque in Odense pumped the air with their fists and let out cries of joy and ''God is great''.

''I am an optimist. Two men were freed today and I am optimistic that in a few weeks the others will be freed. We have faith in the Danish constitution,'' Abu Hassan, the mosque's imam, told Reuters.

Friends and relatives of the suspects have maintained the men are Danish Muslims without radical agendas. Several are of Palestinian origin and one is an ethnic Dane.

''It makes us happy and proves we did nothing wrong,'' said Saleh Hassan whose brother, Said Hassan, is one of the five men still in jail.

The remaining five men will face a custody hearing next week where a judge will decide if they will remain jailed.

Suspects can be remanded in custody under preliminary charges for months in Denmark, with new custody hearings every four weeks. Then, in cases under the anti-terror laws, the justice minister decides whether or not to charge suspects after a recommendation from prosecutors.

Reuters PB DB214

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