Denmark, Sweden raise threat level after Paris attacks

18th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Denmark and Sweden on Wednesday raised their threat status by one notch to the second-highest level, citing the elevated risk of a terrorist attack after last week's bloodshed in Paris.

"Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Danish police is raising its internal preparedness level" to "significantly heightened preparedness", police said in a statement.

They cited the "uncertain situation in a number of European countries."

However, it said the Danish intelligence service PET had "not changed its assessment of the terrorist threat against Denmark, which is still considered serious."

The Danish public would not see any difference in their daily lives as a result of the change, police said.

In February, a Danish-born Islamist extremist killed a Danish filmmaker outside a cultural centre where a debate on Islam and free speech was taking place. Hours later, he killed a Jewish man at a synagogue, as a bar mitzvah was being celebrated outside.

Just hours after Denmark raised its threat level on Wednesday, police evacuated one of two terminals at Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport after two men were overheard talking about a bomb in one of their bags.

The two men, who were arrested, told police they were "only joking". The terminal was reopened after several hours.

Sweden also raised its threat level several hours after Denmark, to "high", also the second-highest level.

"The decision is based on an assessment by the National Centre for Terrorist Threat Assessment (NCT) which is responsible for conducting threat assessments for Sweden and Swedish interests abroad," intelligence service Sapo said in a statement.

"One of the reasons for the heightened level is that Sapo has received concrete information and considers that we must act within the framework of our counterterror work," it said.

"The attacks in Paris on November 13 show that IS may have an increased ability to carry out even relatively complex attacks in Europe. Individuals may be inspired by these attacks," it said.

The Swedish prosecution agency meanwhile announced it had opened a preliminary inquiry into "plans to commit terrorist crimes."

Suspected Islamic State extremists killed 129 people and injured hundreds in coordinated attacks in Paris last week.

© 2015 AFP

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