Overview:  The Kingdom of Denmark, which includes the semi-autonomous Faroe Islands and Greenland regions, remained an important partner in the global fight against terrorism.  As an active participant in the GCTF, the Kingdom cooperates closely with the United States on counterterrorism initiatives.  Denmark devotes significant assets to CT programs and CVE initiatives.

According to the Center for Terror Analysis (CTA), administered by the Danish National Police’s Security and Intelligence Service (PET), the terror threat to Denmark remained “significant”—the fourth of a five-level ranking system (minimal, limited, general, significant, very significant).  CTA characterizes the terror threat to Greenland and the Faroe Islands as minimal.  The center assesses the primary threat to Denmark as attacks perpetrated by individuals in Denmark and abroad who sympathize with and are inspired by what CTA labels militant Islamist terrorist groups, including ISIS and al-Qa’ida.

According to PET, at least 161 individuals from Denmark have traveled to Iraq or Syria to join militant Islamist terrorist groups since 2012.  At year’s end, around half of these 161 travelers had returned to Denmark or have taken up residence in other countries, mainly in Europe, while roughly one third were presumed to have died in the conflict zone.

CTA assesses the domestic terrorist threat from REMVEs as general, from “anti-establishment extremists” as limited, and from “left-wing violent extremists” as minimal.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  There were no terrorist incidents reported in 2022 in the Kingdom of Denmark.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  There were no changes to CT legislation in 2022.  In January the government announced the creation of its Special Crimes Unit, an organization like the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  When fully operational, it will investigate and prosecute organized, financial, trafficking-in-persons, and cyber crimes.

The Danish National Police, Politi, is responsible for law enforcement and security services in all regions governed by the Kingdom of Denmark, while Danish Defense and Intelligence Service (DDIS) handles foreign intelligence activities.  The collective authorities share responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks against Danish interests in Denmark and overseas.  Exchange of information between PET and DDIS is regulated in the legislation covering each.  Efforts to counter terrorism are also shared with the Public Prosecution Service and with the Danish Prison and Probation Service.  Danish security and law enforcement information is shared through CTA, which — as the Danish government’s intelligence center — constitutes the focal point for reporting from the Danish National Police, DDIS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Danish Emergency Management Agency.

In 2022, 18 individuals were sentenced under terrorism-related charges in Chapter 13 of the Criminal Code.

No FTFs were repatriated from Syria or Iraq in 2022.  Since 2016, six of the adults who left Denmark for the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq have returned to Denmark, as have 16 children.  All six adults have been charged with crimes under the Criminal Code’s provisions in Chapter 12, which covers treason and other crimes against the state’s sovereignty and security, and under the terrorism-related Chapter 13.

In December the High Court of Western Denmark sentenced a 35-year-old woman to four years in prison under Chapter 13 of the Criminal Code for 1) having stayed in Raqqa and Deir al-Zour provinces without permission from the Danish government during a period when these were classified as conflict areas and 2) for acting as a housewife for a person who was active within ISIS, thus having promoted ISIS activities.  This was the first sentencing for the three Danish women who were repatriated to Denmark in October 2021 together with their 14 children.  The other two women have pending cases and have not been sentenced.

Five Danish children remain in Syria with their three mothers, who were stripped of Danish citizenship and thus are ineligible for repatriation to Denmark.  The mothers have not consented to their children, who retain Danish citizenship, being repatriated to Denmark without them.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  Denmark is a member of FATF, and its FIU, the Money Laundering Secretariat, is a member of the Egmont Group.  In July, Denmark released its national strategy for preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing, covering 2022-25.

Countering Violent Extremism:  Established in October, the Center for Documentation and Counter Extremism is responsible for preventing violent extremism nationally, locally, and virtually.  The center replaced the former Danish Center for Prevention of Extremism.

The Ministry for Immigration and Integration added one individual and three organizations in 2022 to its list of foreign entities barred from sending financial donations to recipients in Denmark because they are deemed to “oppose or undermine democracy and fundamental freedoms and human rights,” in accordance with the law.  The first three additions were the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, the International Islamic Charity Organization, and Assalam Charity.  The fourth was an individual, Rashed Sad Rashed Ali Alolaimi, a religious leader who also is banned from entering the country because officials deem his presence a threat to public order.

International and Regional Cooperation:  Much of Denmark’s multilateral engagement to prevent and counter terrorism is guided by the United Nations’s Global Counterterrorism Strategy.  Denmark continued to strongly support counterterrorism efforts in regional and multilateral organizations, including:

  • European Union
  • Global Counterterrorism Forum
  • NATO
  • Council of Europe
  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Club de Berne
  • European Counterterrorism Center
  • UN

In May, Denmark handed over the command of NATO Mission Iraq (NMI).  However, Denmark continued to contribute civilian and military advisors, staff officers, and force protection personnel to NMI throughout 2022.  In 2022, Denmark also provided staff officers to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, or MINUSMA).  Denmark had contributed to Operation Barkhane and the EU’s Takuba Task Force with 90 special forces soldiers but withdrew them later that same month after Malian officials requested their removal in response to sanctions proposed by the Danish foreign minister and the EU for Malian transition government officials.

Five Danish cities – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Gentofte, Guldborgsund, and Viborg – are members of the Strong Cities Network.

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