Denmark Beefs Up Anti-terrorism Measures After Copenhagen Shootings

Monitoring of Danes joining Islamic militants abroad will be increased and IT capacity will be enhanced.

Reuters

Denmark's government on Thursday pledged 970 million kroner ($130 million) to strengthen anti-terrorism measures, including by boosting foreign and domestic intelligence gathering.

The announcement follows weekend attacks against a free speech event and a synagogue left two people dead and five wounded in Copenhagen.

The government started drafting the plans last month after lawmakers demanded a review of anti-terror measures following the terror attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.

Social Democratic Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said the plan includes 415 million kroner ($56 million) to boost efforts to monitor Danes joining Islamic militant groups abroad, 200 million kroner for the domestic intelligence agency and 150 million kroner ($20 million) to enhance  IT and analysis capacity.

The government also wants more SWAT team members and bodyguards.

"Unfortunately I don't think we ever get done (with fighting terror). The threat is changing all the time," Thorning-Schmidt said.

Denmark tightened its terror legislation in 2002 and 2006, following the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001.

The center-right opposition is expected to back the plan.

Saturday's attacks killed Dan Uzan, a member of the Copenhagen Jewish community and volunteer security guard at one of the city's synagogues, and a Danish filmmaker. Five police officers were wounded.

The 22-year-old gunman, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was killed by police in a shootout early Sunday.

Danish Defense Minister Nicolai Wammen said Thursday that the M95 assault rifle that El-Hussein used in the first attack had been stolen in late 2013 from the home of a member of Denmark's Home Guard, a volunteer unit.