Two in custody for allegedly aiding Copenhagen gunman


(JTA) — Copenhagen police are holding two men suspected of aiding the gunman in separate deadly shootings in the Dutch capital, including on a synagogue.

In a statement Monday, police said that the men are “suspected of aiding and abetting the perpetrator in connection with the shooting attacks” at a cultural center and at Copenhagen’s central synagogue, the French news agency APF reported.

The statement did not indicate if the detained men are the same two who were arrested Sunday at an Internet cafe in the Norrebro neighborhood of Copenhagen where the gunman was killed in a shootout with police.

Two policemen and a volunteer civilian guard were shot in the synagogue attack while they provided security outside the building in which a bat mitzvah party was taking place. The civilian guard, Dan Uzan, 37, died later from his injuries.

The shooting after midnight Sunday at the central synagogue in Krystalgade followed a shooting the previous afternoon at a free speech event at a cultural center featuring the Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who is under police protection because of his cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad. One person was killed.

The gunman was identified as Omar El-Hussein, 22, a Denmark native who was recently released from jail after serving a sentence for aggravated assault.

A former classmate of El-Hussein on Monday told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that the alleged gunman was consumed with Islam and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was anti-Semitic, The Associated Press reported.

Copenhagen police said Sunday that the shooter may have been influenced by the Paris terror attacks last month at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket.

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