Danish Police have arrested about 20 people on Wednesday suspected of plotting a terrorist attack.
According to chief operating officer of the Danish intelligence service Flemming Drejer, the suspects were driven by a “militant Islamist motive,” but no details were provided as to what the target was or when an attack would occur.
Around 20 raids in Zealand, Jutland and Funen yielded items related to explosives and the authorities believe that some of those detained attempted to obtain explosives and firearms, Danish authorities said at a press conference.
Copenhagen police chief Joergen Bergen Skov said some of the detainees would be charged behind closed doors on Thursday under the country’s anti-terrorism laws.
“It is important to underline that we stopped everyone we have been looking for,” said Skov. “Now we have the situation under control.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen congratulated the country’s security forces on a successful operation and said that “it is a reminder that we must take the terror threat seriously, as there are also people in Denmark who have both the intention and the capacity to commit terrorist attacks. ”
“I am impressed by the skill and resolute action shown by the authorities. For the sake of further investigation, I cannot comment further on the case at this time,” she added.
In recent years, Danish authorities have thwarted several extremist attacks, including ones linked to the publication in a newspaper in 2005 of 12 cartoons made by various artists representing the Prophet Muhammad.
A few months ago, a Danish court sentenced a Syrian man to 12 years in prison for planning to detonate bombs and carry out knife attacks in Copenhagen. Moyed Al Zoebi, 32, acted on behalf of the Islamic State group, according to the Copenhagen Municipal Court.
On February 14, 2015, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein killed two people in two separate shootings in Copenhagen before being killed by the police.