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Denmark adds COVID-19 extremism in terror assessment

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (AP) – Denmark’s domestic security yesterday designated pandemic-linked “anti-governmental extremism” as a menace for the first time ever.

The agency, known by its Danish acronym PET, said in its annual assessment that although this type of extremism is not “a significant driving force for the extremist threat” in the country, it does make the situation “more complex”. PET said the menace which expresses the need to use violence against elected representatives, appeared in connection with the
COVID-19 pandemic.

Head of PET’s Centre for Terror Analysis that analyses the threat of terrorism against Denmark and Danish interests abroad Michael Hamann said the vast majority of instances where authorities were heavily criticised for their handling of the pandemic unfolded peacefully.

Hamann cited examples where such criticism has been expressed by “threats and intimidation” in Denmark, while there have been examples abroad “of planning or carrying out actual violent acts”.

But he said in a statement that the threat from antigovernment extremism is “limited in level”.

However, the risk that the Danish population would be affected by terrorism remains “very low”.