Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Terror Case in Odense, Denmark

I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine yesterday morning and he mentioned the "terror case" in Denmark and that nine people had been arrested. I hadn't, of course, having hardly seen any news at all.

I took a look to see what was on the website of the Danish Radio. I found a half dozen news items that didn't say all that much, except that the news was resounding around the world – a typical Danish perception of itself and importance in the world community.

It seems there really isn't much meat on this story at all. In any case nothing at all about what these people were planning to do, if in fact they were seriously planning anything..

Nine people were arrested in a 2AM raid in Odense – the birthplace of H. C. Andersen as everyone knows. The raids took place in Vollsmose, a part of town where most of the people who live there have "a different ethic background" as they say, which means they are Muslims.

There was an interview with the 17 year old brother of one of the nine arrested. The door was broken down without warning and more than a dozen police in riot gear with drawn guns stormed in, put the entire family in handcuffs and made them lie on the floor. Taken to the station, the younger brother was released in the morning and told to go home. These are things he told Ritzau, so I suppose you may read about them here in the States.

Of the nine who were arrested, two have been released and five have had their arrest continued for three days. Two have had their arrest changed to what they call "varetaegts f├Žngsling". This is a Danish thing which means they police can keep you in jail while they investigate. They can keep you in this kind of custody for as long as the judge says they can keep you. It can be days, months even a year. You can be charged or not with a crime.

What I am trying to say is when/if you hear about this terror case in the news or pundits going on about it, take it with a grain of salt at least. My immediate reaction is that it is a storm in a glass of water, as they say in Danish.

No comments: