Copenhagen Shooting Likely a Terrorist Attack

Copenhagen

Reports of a shooting in Copenhagen, at about four in the afternoon on Feb. 14, said it was very likely to be a terrorist attack. The gunman shot against a cafe where several people had gathered for a debate on freedom of speech.

One person has died and three have been injured in the shooting against the cafe in Copenhagen, where a seminar titled Art, Blasphemy and the Freedom of Expression was being held. At the beginning it was believed two people had been shooting but later it was reported there was only one gunman.

Witnesses were saying that at least 40 or 50 shots had been fired but police later said there were about 200. A 40-year-old civilian has lost his life and three policemen have been injured. The police said after the attack it was not confirmed it had been terrorism, but that it was very likely to be; investigations proceeded as for a terrorist attack.

On Saturday afternoon, a meeting about art and free speech was taking place at the Krudttoenden cafe in the Danish capital. Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who in 2007 was immersed in a very controversial case for drawing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, was hosting the event. The French ambassador in Denmark, Francois Zimeray, was also present.

The Swedish cartoonist had previously described in his website what the talks he was organizing for this meeting were going to be about. He was planning to discuss if there should be limits to art and to free speech, and to pose the question of how daring artists should be regarding what happened in Paris in Jan. 7. Unfortunately the shooting, which very likely was a terrorist attack, interrupted the event on Saturday afternoon in the Krudttoenden cafe in Copenhagen.

There were four victims but miraculously the rest of the people were unhurt. The French ambassador tweeted from inside the cafe, saying he was alive. Vilks, who managed to hide in a store room was able to keep calm and even tell jokes, according to a witness who was next to him.

It is not the first time the Swedish artist, who is always given protection when travelling to Copenhagen, is under threat or his life put at risk. A few years ago two men tried to burn down his house in Sweden, however the artist has stated before he is not going to hide in fear.

Although it was believed there were two suspects, the police released a description of only one and it is thought he acted alone. A young man between 25 to 30 years old, with dark hair, and who had his face covered with a scarf, is the person police are trying to get. He escaped on a VW Polo that was later found abandoned.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish Prime Minister, has said to the media “We feel certain now that it’s a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack.” The Copenhagen shooting is now considered a terrorist attack, ruling out any other explanation, and the whole country is on high alert at the time of writing.

By Vanessa Pouso

Sources

BBC

ABC News

The Telegraph

Photo by OlofE – Wikimedia License

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