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Statement by the Prime Minister of Denmark on the terror attacks in Copenhagen 14-15 February 2015

Statement by the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, on the terrorist incident in Copenhagen, 14-15 February: 

“Denmark has been hit by a terrorist attack. Yesterday afternoon a peaceful meeting was viciously attacked by a gunman, and early this morning the Jewish synagogue was similarly attacked. Two persons have been killed and five police officers injured.

Today the thoughts of all Danes rest with the families of the two deceased and the wounded.

As a nation we will not easily forget the past 24 hours. We have experienced the fear and uncertainty that terrorism seeks to spread. But we have also responded with determination and resolve. Early this morning the situation ended with the death of the presumed perpetrator.

I commend the courage and professionalism of The Danish Police and other involved authorities. Their efforts have been truly extraordinary.

Denmark is an open, free and peaceful democracy. This will not change. We will defend our society and stand by its fundamental values.

To attack the Jewish minority in Denmark is an attack on all of Denmark. We are all deeply disturbed by the tragedy that unfolded in front of the Jewish Synagogue. The Jewish community is an important part of Denmark, and has our warm sympathy and strong support.

We have known for long that there are forces wishing to harm open and free societies like Denmark. This is not a struggle between Islam and the West, or between Muslims and non-Muslims. This is a struggle between the core values of our society and violent extremists.

We are not alone in this struggle. We have received expressions of sympathy and support from leaders around the world. It has warmed my heart and the Danish people deeply. We are very grateful for all the support we have received.

In the coming days we will work to fully clarify the circumstances of the attack. At the same time we will insist that people should go about their business as usual.

I am confident that Denmark will get through this both united and strong.”

In connection with the weekend’s events, HM The Queen states the following:

“It is with sorrow that I learn of the extent of the incidents of the last 24 hours. My thoughts go out to the killed film director and the young security guard from the Jewish community who became targets of the perpetrator’s acts. I send my deepest sympathy to the relatives and to the wounded police officers.

I wish to direct thanks to the police and the authorities for their quick and effective efforts.

It is important that we, in such a serious situation, stand together and uphold the values that Denmark is founded upon.”