COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A 30-year-old Syrian living in Sweden was ordered held in pre-trial custody Friday on suspicion of attempting to take part in an attack in Copenhagen last year.
After a three-hour hearing held behind closed doors, police said the man, an asylum-seeker whom they did not name, was suspected of planning “an act of terror” in November 2016.
They said the attack was thwarted when police in Germany arrested the man’s alleged accomplice as he tried to enter Denmark with a backpack containing 17,000 matches, 17 batteries, fireworks, two kitchen knives and six walkie-talkies.
The alleged accomplice, Dieab Khadigah, also Syrian, was sentenced by a German court in July to six-and-a-half years in prison.
The pair was planning “to kill or hurt random people in an unknown place in Copenhagen … then detonate one or more explosive devices,” authorities said.
The 30-year-old was arrested Thursday. It was not clear why so much time elapsed between the alleged plot and his arrest. He faces preliminary charges while police investigate and will be jailed until at least Jan. 15.
Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet tabloid says the man was known to Swedish intelligence as someone who sympathized with the Islamic State group.
According to Sweden’s Expressen newspaper, the man was also suspected of an October arson at a Shiite prayer room in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, just across a waterway from Copenhagen. He was acquitted.
Danish police aided by Denmark’s domestic intelligence agency made the arrest.