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Copenhagen Suffers Second Attack with Shooting Near a Synagogue

Hours after a terror attack at a free speech forum in Copenhagen three people were wounded in a shooting early Sunday morning near a synagogue just miles away. It was not immediately clear whether the two attacks were linked, and the unidentified shooters in both incidents remained on the loose. They are the latest in ...

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Hours after a terror attack at a free speech forum in Copenhagen three people were wounded in a shooting early Sunday morning near a synagogue just miles away.

It was not immediately clear whether the two attacks were linked, and the unidentified shooters in both incidents remained on the loose. They are the latest in a spate of violence in Europe, a continent already shaken by last month’s assault against Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.

On Saturday afternoon, a gunmen fired on a cafe where an event organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced death threats for his caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed, was taking place. According to wire reports, some 30 bullet holes riddled the window of the Krudttoenden cafe. Vilks was at the event, but was not hurt.

Although the Quran does not explicitly ban depicting Mohamed it is a highly sensitive issue and generally frowned upon in modern Islamic tradition. Many Muslims consider it blasphemous.

“We feel certain now that it is a politically motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thornin-Schmidt said of the cafe shooting.

Events in Copenhagen paralleled the Charlie Hebdo siege and its aftermath. Just as in Paris, the gunmen targeted a journalist who had caricatured Mohamed. If the attack near the synagogue is related, it would mirror the actions of Amedy Coulibaly, who targeted a kosher grocery story after Chérif and Saïd Kouachi killed 12 at the satirical newspaper’s headquarters.

In Washington, White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan condemned the “deplorable shooting” at the free speech forum and said the United States is prepared to help with the ongoing investigation.

No one has claimed responsibility for either incident. Danish authorities said the victim at the cafe was a 40-year old man attending the event. He has not been identified. Three others were injured.

Denmark, a member of the European Union, has stopped terror potential plots against publications in the past. In 2010, authorities there thwarted a planned attack against Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a newspaper that published cartoons of Mohamed.

Photo Credit: Lars Ronbog

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