Beginning on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark was rocked by two shootings that mirrored the terrorist shootings in Paris last month.
A shooting at a free speech event featuring Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist, who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and a second shooting hours later outside a synagogue left two dead and five police officers wounded in Copenhagen, stirring fears that another terror spree was under way in a European capital a month after 17 people were killed in Paris attacks.
No suspects were arrested.
The first shooting happened shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, February 14th. Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cultural center during a panel discussion on freedom of expression following the Paris attacks. A 55-year-old man attending the event was killed, while three police officers were wounded. The victim has not been identified.
The gunman then fled in a carjacked Volkswagen Polo that was found later a few miles away, police said.
Lars Vilks, 68, who has faced numerous death threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, was one of the main speakers at the event, titled "Art, blasphemy and freedom of expression." He was whisked away by his bodyguards unharmed as the shooting began. He felt he was targeted.
The man who was killed on Valentine's Day in the Copenhagen attack was a documentary filmmaker who worked on a film about terrorists and another about an Australian boomerang champion.
Finn Nørgaard (1959 – February 14, 2015) was a Danish filmmaker who was involved in several documentary and feature films.
Nørgaard received a cand.phil. degree in Film and Communication from the University of Copenhagen in 1991.
Nørgaard was a photographer for the 1983 Danish detective film Adam Hart i Sahara and editor of the 1986 Danish documentary film Soul to Soul. He served as producer for Kun for Forrykte, a 1988 documentary film about Eik Skaløe and Steppeulvene. He worked behind the camera as clapper loader in Peter Eszterhás' 1989 film En afgrund af frihed.
From 1989 until 2001 Nørgaard worked at DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation). In 2001 he became co-owner of Filmselskabet (Film Company). During this period he is also credited as assistant camera in the 1992 German film Die Terroristen! and made an appearance as a bodyguard in Thomas Borch Nielsen's 1998 film Skyggen (Webmaster).
In 2004 he directed the documentary film Boomerang Drengen (Boomerang Boy) and was responsible for production of documentary films about the Lê Lê restaurant chain: Lê Lê - De jyske vietnamesere from 2008.
In 2009, for TV 2, Nørgaard directed and produced En anden vej: Historien om fire nydanskere og en koncernchef, which followed former Tryg-CEO Stine Bosse and four young immigrants to Denmark with a criminal background on a pilgrimage to El Camino.
Nørgaard also directed and produced film for Mærsk, SAS and Microsoft, among others.
Finn Nørgaard was killed on February 14, 2015 in an attack on a discussion meeting titled "Art, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Expression" organized by the Lars Vilks Committee and held at the Krudttønden culture center in Østerbro. The perpetrator shot with a submachine gun from close range. In the same incident two PET bodyguards and a police officer were wounded.
Krystalgade Synagogue Attack
After searching for the first gunman for hours, police reported the second shooting in downtown Copenhagen after midnight Sunday. The gunman opened fire at two police officers outside the synagogue on Krystalgade. They were wounded in the arms and legs but were not in life-threatening condition.
Right behind the synagogue, a young girl was celebrating her confirmation (bat mitzvah) with a party of about 80 people, the Jewish Society of Denmark said.
Dan Uzan, 37, who was standing at the gate providing security for the party, was shot and killed.
The gunman fled on foot.
Authorities pieced together surveillance images from across the capital and tracked the suspect's movements....The dead gunman was Danish-Arab, 22, living in Copenhagen, and was on the radar of authorities for gang activity, not for suspected Islamist extremism.
The footage shows the man going from the scene of a shooting to where he apparently abandoned a vehicle, and to a taxi cab.
"By interviewing the taxi driver, we got the address where he dropped off the person," [Copenhagen police investigator Joergen] Skov said. "We have been keeping that address under observation."
He said when officers tried to make contact with the suspect at the Copenhagen apartment on Sunday, the suspect opened fire. Police fired back, killing the gunman.
The Copycat Effect
The targets and methodology in the Paris and Copenhagen attacks appear to be extremely similar.
The cartoonists in Paris were the prime targets of the terrorists. In Copenhagen, Lars Vilks felt targeted.
In March 2013, this poster appeared:
"Wanted: Dead or Alive for Crimes Against Islam," the page reads. The list includes: Molly Norris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Flemming Rose, Morris Swadiq, Salman Rushdie, Girt Wilders [sic], Lars Vilks, Stephane Charbonnie, Carsten Luste, Terry Jones, and Kurt Westergaard. Most are or were notable critics of radical Islam, and one heading says "WANTED Dead or Alive for Crimes Against Islam."
"Yes We Can," the image reads. "A Bullet A Day Keeps the Infidel Away."
Vilks became a target after his 2007 cartoon depicting Mohammed with the body of a dog -- an animal that conservative Muslims consider unclean...
Like Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier -- who was killed in the attack on that magazine's Paris offices last month -- Vilks was one of nine faces on a "Most Wanted" graphic published by al Qaeda's Inspire magazine for "crimes against Islam."
Others include a pair of Danish journalists who published 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper; Florida pastor Terry Jones, who burned a Quran; and Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.
[Helle Merete Brix, a journalist and founder of the Lars Vilks Committee] said, "there's no doubt" the Copenhagen event was targeted because of Vilks, who has "not been able to live a normal life" for years. Source.
"What other motive could there be? It's possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo," Lars Vilks said, referring to the January 7 attack by Islamic extremists on the French newspaper that had angered Muslims by lampooning Muhammad.
Police spokesman Joergen Skov said it was possible the gunman had planned the "same scenario" as in the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
The Name Game
Krudttønden means "the powder keg."
Krystalgade (literally 'crystal street') is a street in central Copenhagen, Denmark, connecting Nørregade to Købmagergade.