COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Two Danish brothers originally from Somalia were arrested on suspicion of plotting a terror attack, Denmark’s security service said Tuesday.
The two brothers, ages 18 and 23, were arrested late Monday — one in the western city of Aarhus and the other as he arrived by plane at Copenhagen’s international airport, said the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, or PET.
The men were suspected of “being in the process of preparing an act of terror” after they were overheard talking about methods, targets and different weapons types, PET said in a statement, suggesting the suspects had been under surveillance. One of them had been to a training camp in Somalia run by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, the agency said. The Somalia-based al-Shabab has links to al-Qaida.
The suspects are “Danish citizens of Somali origin” who have lived in Denmark for 16 years, PET said.
“According to PET’s assessment the arrests have prevented a concrete act of terror, and the arrests therefore don’t lead to a changed evaluation of the terror threat in Denmark,” PET said, adding that the terror threat level in Denmark remains “serious.”
The Scandinavian country has been in the crosshairs of Islamist terror groups after the publication of newspaper cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
A Somali man living in Denmark was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to 10 years in prison after breaking into the home of one of the cartoonists with an ax in 2010.
Last year, a Chechen-born man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for preparing a letter bomb that exploded as he was assembling it in a Copenhagen hotel in 2010.
Another trial is under way in Denmark against four men accused of plotting a shooting spree at another Danish newspaper.