Denmark will deploy police to protect Jewish and Israeli sites starting from today.
The move comes in response to growing antisemitism and the threat of terrorism following the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza conflict. It is estimated that there are between six to eight thousand Jews in Denmark. Terrorism threats come in addition to the risks posed by recent burnings of the Quaran in the country with the Danish government considering banning such actions. In Nordic countries, the terrorist alert has been high well before the outbreak of the conflict in Gaza given the practice with several burnings also occurring in Sweden. Earlier this year, a Danish court also rejected claims that convicted terrorist Ahmed Samsam was an agent of the country’s intelligence services.
While currently there are no similar actions to protect Denmark’s Muslims or their religious sites, the risk of terrorism targeting such groups may also grow in a tense political climate. Amid the current security situation, strengthened anti-terrorism laws are likely to be implemented which may involve increased surveillance and the reduction of privacy rights alongside an increased security presence at potentially targeted sites. Today’s deployment is indicative of this strategy moving forward.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.