Denmark pledges $130 million to strengthen anti-terrorism efforts

Denmark's government on Thursday announced its plan to fight against terrorism, following weekend attacks against a free speech event and a synagogue that left two people dead and five wounded in Copenhagen.

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    Hundreds of people gather for a vigil near the cultural club in Copenhagen, Denmark, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015.
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Denmark's government on Thursday pledged 970 million kroner ($130 million) to strengthen anti-terrorism measures, including by boosting foreign and domestic intelligence gathering.

The announcement follows weekend attacks against a free speech event and a synagogue left two people dead and five wounded in Copenhagen.

The government started drafting the plans last month after lawmakers demanded a review of anti-terror measures following the terror attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.

Social Democratic Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt says the plan includes 415 million kroner ($56 million) to boost efforts to monitor Danes joining Islamic militant groups abroad and 200 million kroner to the domestic intelligence agency, and 150 million kroner ($20 million) to more IT and analysis capacity.

The government also wants more SWAT team members and bodyguards.

"Unfortunately I don't think we ever get done (with fighting terror). The threat is changing all the time," Thorning-Schmidt said. After the attacks in the United States in 2001, Denmark tightened its terror legislation in 2002 and 2006.

The center-right opposition is expected to back the plan.

A Danish filmmaker and a Jewish security guard were killed in the shootings. Five police officers were wounded. The 22-year-old gunman, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was killed by police in a shootout early Sunday.

Defense Minister Nicolai Wammen said Thursday that the M95 assault rifle that El-Hussein used in the first attack had been stolen in late 2013 from the home of a member of Denmark's Home Guard, a volunteer unit.

 
 
 

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