Syrian Man Stands Trial in Denmark Over Foiled Terrorist Attack

Prosecutors say the suspect supports ISIS and sought to target Copenhagen with knives as well as bombs in an assault he planned with a younger accomplice

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View of painted houses, Copenhagen.
Copenhagen, Denmark, the alleged site of the foiled attack.Credit: Bloomberg

A Syrian man went on trial Tuesday in Denmark for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack in Copenhagen.

"This case is linked to support for IS. An attack with knives and one or two bombs," prosecutor Sonja Hedegaard told the Copenhagen city court, broadcaster TV2 reported.

The prosecution said the 31-year-old had planned the attack with a younger accomplice.

The foiled plot, which had been intended to take place two years ago, has been labelled "the match stick case" since some of the materials intended for the bombs comprised match heads. They were found in the possession the younger man - aged 21 and from Syria, too - who was arrested in late 2016 in Germany while he was heading for Denmark.

The 31-year-old denied the charges on Tuesday, TV2 reported.

Details of the plot emerged during the 21-year-old's trial in Germany where he was handed a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence in July 2017.

The older man was also charged with instructing his accomplice to acquire batteries, walkie-talkies and two long kitchen knives.

The older Syrian was arrested at Copenhagen airport in November 2017 when trying to travel to Turkey on a false passport.

During Tuesday's testimony the 31-year-old said he had taken part in two battles in Syria against the Syrian government, but it was not clear who he fought with, public broadcaster DR reported.

He and his wife applied for asylum in neighbouring Sweden in September 2015.

If convicted, the prosecution would seek to have him expelled from Denmark and denied re-entry after serving his sentence.