Copenhagen gunman was known to Danish police

A protester holds a newspaper reading in Danish “I am Charlie. I am a police officer. I am Jewish. I am Danish” during a demonstration outside the Embassy of Denmark in Paris. Source: AFP

Police said the gunman, named locally as is Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was killed in a shoot out in the early hours of Sunday morning local time (Sunday afternoon AEDT) when he had returned to his apartment in Nørrebro, just south of the city. He was known to police because of past violence, gang related activities and possession of weapons and had recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for aggravated assault.

El-Hussein had also been wanted by police in November 2013 for stabbing a fellow passenger on a train, according to Ekstra-Bladet, a Danish tabloid.

This was corroborated by a statement issued by Danish police in 2013 describing an incident in which a man identified as Omar El-Hussein had stabbed a train passenger repeatedly with “a big knife”.

Jens Madsen, head of the Danish intelligence agency PET, said the gunman could have been inspired by Islamic State and the Charlie Hebdo attack. He was known to anti-terror police and may have travelled to Iraq and Syria, he said.

“PET is working on a theory that the perpetrator could have been inspired by the events in Paris. He could also have been inspired by material sent out by the Islamic State and others,” Madsen said.

Overnight Danish police arrested two people — a Pakistani man and an Arab man — at a Copenhagen internet cafe near Norreport station- in the aftermath of the terror attack.

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