Denmark is holding two people in custody and targeting four more in an investigation that may have ties to others across Europe that are linked to Hamas.
The two suspects detained have been ordered to remain in pretrial detention until January 9, prosecutor Anders Larsson said on Friday. The arrests coincide with detentions in Germany allegedly linked to Hamas and in the Netherlands.
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The Danish Security and Intelligence Service announced on Thursday the arrests of three people on suspicion of plotting to carry out “an act of terror”. Larsson revealed that one was released after a nightlong custody hearing at a Copenhagen court.
The prosecutor did not say whether the released person was still considered a suspect. The whereabouts of the other four suspects is unknown.
‘Hamas infrastructure on European soil’
Larsson also did not specify whether there is a Hamas link in the Danish arrests. However, there have been strong suggestions that they may be connected.
After the arrests on Thursday, Israel’s Mossad spy agency said Denmark had exposed “Hamas infrastructure on European soil”, according to a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
“It is, of course, in relation to Israel and Gaza, completely unacceptable for someone to bring a conflict elsewhere in the world into Danish society,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told the Ritzau news agency the same day.
Danish police said they would increase their public presence in the coming days, in particular in Copenhagen and around Jewish localities.
Prosecutors have said it is unclear whether the arrest of Dutch national Nazih R in the Netherlands is linked to the Hamas investigation in Germany, where Lebanon-born Abdelhamid al-A and Ibrahim el-R and Egyptian national Mohamed B have been detained.
German prosecutors alleged that the three detainees were tasked with finding a previously established underground Hamas weapons cache in Europe. They added: “The weapons were due to be taken to Berlin and kept in a state of readiness in view of potential terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe.”
“Following the terrible attacks by Hamas on the Israeli population, attacks on Jews in Jewish institutions have also increased in our country in recent weeks,” German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said in a statement.
“We must, therefore, do everything we can to ensure that Jews in our country do not have to fear for their safety again,” he added.
This month, the European Union’s home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson, also warned that Europe faced a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the Christmas holiday period during the Israel-Hamas war.
Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told the Reuters news agency: “We deny there are members of Hamas detained in Denmark, Germany or any other European country.”
“Publishing these allegations aims to influence the mass rallies that are supportive of Palestine in Europe.”