Copenhagen shooting suspect Omar el-Hussein — a past full of contradictions

The Guardian reports: Danish intelligence services have suggested the fatal Copenhagen shooting of a film-maker at a freedom-of-speech debate and a Jewish security guard at a synagogue may have been a copycat of last month’s Paris attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket. If that was the case, Hussein would have had to have followed those Paris attacks from a Danish prison, where he was serving a two-year sentence for stabbing a 19-year-old man on Copenhagen’s inner-city train system. He had been released from prison only two weeks before the attacks in Copenhagen at the weekend.

It is not yet clear whether he became radicalised in prison like the men behind the Paris attacks. But Michael Gjorup, head of the country’s prison and probation service, told Danish media that authorities had noticed changes in his behaviour in prison and had alerted the intelligence services.

Details on Hussein’s upbringing in Copenhagen remain sketchy. A court psychiatric assessment of him carried out during the stabbing case, and obtained by Danish TV2, showed him telling psychologists he had a happy childhood and good relations with his parents and a younger brother. However, he did not graduate from school, was unable to get into a university and later was homeless.

Although it was not clear where he had lived after leaving prison, he was well-known on the low-rise, red-brick Mjølnerparken estate in north-west Copenhagen, where police had raided an apartment at the weekend searching for weapons. Behind the peeling paint of the front door, the stairwell was graffitied with black pen and strewn with litter. Past the children’s play areas of the estate, Emilie Hansson, 26, who is half Swedish, said she knew Hussein and had seen him at the estate last week. She said: “For me he’s not a terrorist. He’s someone who felt finished with life and decided to go out with a big bang.” An 18-year-old at school nearby said he thought those who knew Hussein had been shocked he could have carried out the attacks. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email