Omar El-Hussein ID’d as Shooting Suspect in Copenhagen: Reports
Omar El-Hussein was identified as the suspect in the deadly Copenhagen shootings on Saturday.
Sky News reported that Hussein, 22, was born in Denmark and had a violent past, including weapons offenses.
He was shot and killed near a Copenhagen train station after he opened fire on authorities. Police said he is the suspect in the shooting that left one person dead at a cafe and a late-night shooting at a synagogue that killed another person.
According to Denmark’s The Local, “He is a young man aged 22, born in Denmark, and he is known by police for several crimes,” reads a police statement. TV2 news reported that he was released only around two weeks ago after serving a term for aggravated assault.
El-Hussein may have been inspired by the shootings in Paris last month, where Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, Sky reported.
Officials said there’s no evidence suggesting other gunmen were involved.
In the incidents, a 55-year-old man was shot and killed at a cultural center in Copenhagen hosting a free speech debate, while a 37-year-old Jewish man was shot and killed outside a synagogue hours later.
El-Hussein was wanted by police in November 2013 after he stabbed a person while riding a train, AFP reported.
The Associated Press has more on the case:
“Denmark has been hit by terror,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said. “We do not know the motive for the alleged perpetrator’s actions, but we know that there are forces that want to hurt Denmark. They want to rebuke our freedom of speech.”
Jens Madsen, head of the Danish intelligence agency PET, said investigators believe the gunman was inspired by Islamic radicalism.
“PET is working on a theory that the perpetrator could have been inspired by the events in Paris. He could also have been inspired by material sent out by (the Islamic State group) and others,” Madsen said.
Islamic radicals carried out a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in Paris last month, followed by an attack on Jews at a kosher grocery store, taking the lives of 17 victims.
Earlier Sunday, at least two people with handcuffs were taken out by police from an Internet cafe inCopenhagen, Danish media reported. Police spokesman Steen Hansen told The Associated Press that “the action was part of the police investigation” but declined to give further details.
The Danish Film Institute said the 55-year-old man killed at the free speech event was documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard.
The institute’s chief Henrik Bo Nielsen said he was shocked and angry to find out Noergaard was gunned down while attending a discussion on art and free speech.