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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 21:14 GMT 22:14 UK
Danish police seek Muslim support
Danish Muslims
Denmark hopes to include its Muslim community
Denmark's security service is planning to meet about 200 Muslim preachers, hoping to enlist them in the war against terror.

"The bigger our terror emergency force is, the more likely it is that we can prevent terror," said a senior member of Danish police intelligence.

Police said a number of Danish imams had welcomed the idea.

Denmark has about 500 troops in Iraq and took part in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

After the Madrid train bombings on 11 March, some Danes fear their country's involvement in those conflicts could make them a target for Islamic militants.

There are no known terror groups active in Denmark.

Last month the country announced plans to amend its immigration laws to restrict the entry of radical Muslim clergy.

By including Denmark's Muslim community "in our terror readiness, there is a greater probability that we can avoid any kind of terror activities," said Detective Commander Hans Jorgen Bonnichsen of the Danish police's Security Intelligence Service.

"We will invite as many imams as possible and I hope the meeting will take place before summer," he said.

It is thought that between 150,000 and 180,000 of Denmark's 5.3 million inhabitants are Muslim.

'Good idea'

Invitations will be sent both to local imams and to foreign Muslim clerics, who have been sent to Denmark by overseas governments.

Some of those who expect to receive an invitation welcomed the move.

"The safety of our society is a concern for all of us," Imam Abdul Wahid Petersen said.

Ahmed Abu Laban, one of Denmark's best known Muslim clerics, called it "a good idea".


SEE ALSO:
Denmark banks on new visas
11 Aug 03  |  Europe
Flirting with Fascism
28 Jun 02  |  Analysis
Denmark sails into immigrant row
05 Feb 02  |  Europe
Country profile: Denmark
15 Feb 04  |  Country profiles


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