For immediate release | Sunday, February 15, 2015

Counter Extremism Project Releases Resource on Extremism in Denmark

Two people were killed and five police officers wounded in separate terrorist attacks hours apart in Copenhagen, Denmark on February 14, 2015. 

A gunman shot through the windows of a cultural center during a freedom of speech event, featuring Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. A 55-year-old man was killed and three officers were wounded. Vilks, who was not injured, has faced numerous death threats since publishing cartoons in 2007 depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

A man-hunt had already begun when the second shooting occurred after midnight at a Synagogue in the Krystalgade area of the city. The attack left a Jewish man dead while two police officers were shot in the arm and leg.  The man was standing guard outside of a building behind the synagogue during a bat mitzvah, while around 80 people were inside at the event.  No one inside the synagogue was injured.

Later, Danish police shot and killed the man they believe was responsible for two shooting attacks.

The threat of Islamic extremism in Denmark has grown since 2005, when images of Mohammed drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Vertergaard were published in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Danish embassies in Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Syria were attacked between 2005 and 2008. Denmark, a member of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, has sought to strengthen domestic counter-extremism efforts including by launching an innovative rehabilitation program for returning foreign fighters.

In the wake of the Copenhagen attacks the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today released new resources detailing the history of Denmark’s efforts to combat extremism.  

Denmark: Extremism and Counter Extremism details the events on Feb. 14: the radicalization of foreign fighters; a history of major Danish extremist and terrorist incidents; domestic counter extremism; and legislative efforts to combat extremism.


To view the report in its entirety, click here.

CEP previously released reports on France and Belgium.