COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Hundreds of people on Friday attended the Islamic burial of the gunman who killed two people in twin shootings in Copenhagen last weekend.
Omar El-Hussein, 22, was placed in an unmarked grave in the Muslim cemetery in Broendby, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, watched by around 500 people, mostly young men wearing thick black jackets against the cold and rain, an AFP reporter said.
El-Hussein, a Danish citizen of Palestinian origin, has been identified by police as the gunman who shot dead two people – a filmmaker and a volunteer Jewish security guard – in the Danish capital last weekend.
Before the burial, a short ceremony was held at a Copenhagen mosque following Friday prayers.
A man of east African origin, who refused to give his name, told AFP about the ceremony: “There were a lot of young people that you don’t normally see there… because they knew Omar. Some of them were gang members.
“They are my brothers too because they believe in Allah and the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), but their lifestyle doesn’t have a lot to do with Islam,” he said.
A handful of those who were there he recognised as members of the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, but there were also many “normal Muslims”, the man said.
“A Muslim cannot be denied a funeral. God will judge him,” he said.
A young man who said he knew El-Hussein described him as “normal”.
“He just made the wrong choices, I do not see him as a terrorist,” said the man, who gave his name as Mohammed.
El-Hussein had been linked to a criminal gang formed on the Copenhagen inner-city estate where he grew up.