A now 16-year-old Danish girl has been charged with planning to bomb a Jewish school in Denmark. She had also planned to bomb a non-Jewish Danish school. She was 15 at the time.
The girl has been in custody since January 13, but Danish authorities only made her arrest public this past week. It speaks to the extreme seriousness of the case that the girl was kept in isolation for the first three weeks of her custody, which is unusual in Denmark when dealing with a 15-year-old.
The girl had allegedly planned the attacks together with a 24-year-old man, who supplied her with the materials and manuals needed for manufacturing the bombs. The man is known to have returned from Syria, where he fought not once, but several times. He was jailed for criminal activities as a teenager and is believed to have been radicalized in jail, where he apparently also converted to Islam.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
The girl is Danish but had converted to Islam and was radicalized within a very short time span. The Danish TV2 news reported that she celebrated jihad on her Facebook profile and that she was a member of the Danish section of the radical Islamic organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is not outlawed in Denmark.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, it should be mentioned, organized a sermon in a Danish mosque in February last year, where an imam, Hajj Saeed, incited war against Jews — the very same sermon that the terrorist Omar Abdel Hamid El-Husseini attended the day before he murdered Danish film director Finn Noergaard and Dan Uzan, the Jewish guard at the local synagogue. Notably, Danish authorities recently decided not to press charges against Saeed for incitement against Jews, claiming that the words were part of a sermon about interfaith dialogue. The Danish prosecutor clearly could not tell the difference between an organization that works for the re-establishment of the caliphate and one that works for interfaith dialogue. In any event, the outcome of the sermon was anything but dialogue.
Although the Jewish community is hardly surprised by these developments — the school has been under heavy police protection for a long time now, especially since the terrorist attack against the synagogue last February — these revelations are still a major blow to the community, not least to the children at the Jewish school. Nevertheless, the head of the Jewish school, Jan Hansen, told local Danish media that it was business as usual at the school, despite the threat.
"Of course it is not nice that our school is mentioned in such a context, but unfortunately we are not surprised. We go on as usual. … We have no intention of changing our day-to-day activities. We talk to the children about it in a non-dramatizing way," he said.
But there really is no way to sugarcoat the fact that people want to kill you, a Jewish child, simply because you are Jewish.
The Jewish community in Denmark already struggles with a dwindling demographic and record high assimilation and intermarriage. The reminder of the very palpable security threat that it is living under — as are countless larger European Jewish communities — is a brutal wake-up call to the fact that there might not be much of a future left for Jews in Denmark.
After the revelations, some shocked non-Jewish Danes could be seen to comment on Facebook about how horrible the threat was and how awful it must be for the children and the parents of the Jewish school to live with the knowledge that someone wants to kill you, simply and only because you are Jewish.
There is something tragic in this very late realization on the part of so many non-Jews in Denmark. The tragedy is that Jews have been living in Denmark for centuries and still there is a complete lack of insight and understanding on the part of the majority into what it actually means to live as a Jew in Denmark. The "shock" on the part of many Danes spoke volumes of how indifferent they have been to the plight of the Jews and in understanding their need for police protection in the face of the local terrorist threat.
Since average Danes are now also increasingly becoming terrorist targets — as demonstrated by the young Danish convert's plan to bomb not only the Jewish school but also a Danish school — they might finally realize that security is not only a Jewish problem. It is a societal problem.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.