Denmark takes al-Qaeda threat very seriously after Koran burnings

Denmark is taking threats from the Islamist terrorist network al-Qaeda very seriously, Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said on Tuesday, according to broadcaster DR.

On Monday, reports had emerged that al-Qaeda was calling on Muslims to launch retaliation attacks for recent desecrations of the Koran in Sweden and Denmark.

The Danish domestic intelligence service PET had earlier confirmed a new threat against Sweden and Denmark, in response to Koran burnings in the two countries.

Several anti-Islamic protests involving the damaging and burning of the Koran in Sweden and Denmark have triggered protests in Muslim-majority countries in recent months.

The reactions in Iraq were particularly strong. In July, the Iraqi government expelled the Swedish ambassador, while demonstrators stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set fire to it.

The Koran burnings have been carried out by small groups seeking to provoke Muslims. The protests fall under freedom of speech in both countries and are legal.

Al-Qaeda is said to have posted an online statement calling for severe punishment against everyone involved in such acts, including blowing up Swedish and Danish embassies around the world.

But Hummelgaard reassured Danes that they should not be nervous. Police and secret services were keeping a very close eye on the situation, he said.

He reiterated that the government intended to ban the provocative Koran burnings, however it was initially unclear what steps would be taken.

The terror alert level in Denmark has not been raised, despite the multiple threats. It is currently on the fourth of five levels.

Read more: Denmark ponders law to ban burning of the Koran in front of embassies

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Categories: Al Qaeda, Burning, Denmark, Koran, terrorism