Danish attacks echo France

16 February 2015

The targets were eerily familiar: a cartoonist, police officers and Jews. The manhunt, too, had echoes: a European capital on virtual lockdown as police searched block by block, with helicopters sweeping the skies.

Unlike the killers in Paris, who variously claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, it was not immediately clear whether the attacker here had connections to established extremist organizations. But that may not have mattered.

"There is a confluence between criminal gangs and extremism which is more pronounced in Denmark than in other countries," said Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert who is leading a counterextremism effort in Copenhagen. "There are gang leaders here who have gone on to participate in the fighting in Syria."

Read the entire article in the Washington Post.