Terror Attack: One Dead in Copenhagen Shooting That May Have Targeted Cartoonist

Lars-Vilks
Sam Schechner and Anna Molin report: A gunman killed one person and wounded several others during an event in Copenhagen to discuss Islam and free expression in the wake of last month’s attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“Denmark has today been hit by a cynical act of violence. Everything suggests that the shooting in Osterbro was a political assassination and thus an act of terrorism.”

Copenhagen police said they were searching for a suspect who shot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cafe, where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks and the French ambassador to Denmark were among those attending an event hosted by the Lars Vilks committee.

An armed security officer runs down a street near a venue after shots were fired where an event titled "Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression" was being held in Copenhagen, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. Danish media say several shots have been fired at a cafe in Copenhagen where a meeting about freedom of speech was being held, organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad in 2007. (AP Photo/Polfoto, Kenneth Meyer

An armed security officer runs down a street near a venue after shots were fired where an event titled “Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression” was being held in Copenhagen, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. Danish media say several shots have been fired at a cafe in Copenhagen where a meeting about freedom of speech was being held, organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad in 2007. (AP Photo/Polfoto, Kenneth Meyer

“We face some difficult days when our unity will be tested. But in Denmark, we will never bow to the violence.”

— Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Initially, the authorities had said they were looking for two shooters.

Police said the motive for the shooting remained unclear but it was possible that Mr. Vilks was the target of the attack. Mr. Vilks was unhurt, according to Danish police. The cartoonist is known for having drawn caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

copenhagen-glass-wsj

“Denmark has today been hit by a cynical act of violence,” said Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. “Everything suggests that the shooting in Osterbro was a political assassination and thus an act of terrorism.”

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[Also see – Assassination Attempt on Mohammed Cartoonist Lars Vilks Sept 2013, punditfromanotherplanet]

She said police were on full alert across the country and all resources had been deployed to catch the perpetrator.

“We face some difficult days when our unity will be tested. But in Denmark, we will never bow to the violence,” she said.

The gunman fired dozens of shots into the event, a spokesman for the French foreign ministry said. The French ambassador wasn’t injured in the shooting but “was in complete shock,” said spokesman Roman Nadal, adding that the participants were rushed to a closed room inside the center after the shooting.

French President François Hollande said… (read more)

WSJ

Write to Sam Schechner at sam.schechner@wsj.com and Anna Molin at anna.molin@wsj.com

 



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