US President Barack Obama expressed solidarity Monday with Denmark after two separate shootings, at a free-speech event and a synagogue, shocked the Nordic nation. The president vowed to confront anti-Semitism and assaults on freedom of expression together with Copenhagen.
Faced with the prospect of European Jews being again targeted by extremists, just over a month after similar attacks in Paris, governments were scrambling to reassure their Jewish communities.
The first victim, 55-year-old filmmaker Finn Norgaard, was killed when a gunman opened fire during a debate on free speech on Saturday.
The same attacker then targeted Copenhagen’s main synagogue, killing 37-year-old Dan Uzan.
During a telephone call, Obama and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt “agreed on the need to work together to confront attacks on freedom of expression as well as against anti-Semitic violence,” the White House said in a statement.
It said Obama offered his condolences for the victims and expressed “American solidarity with our Danish allies.”
Obama also welcomed Denmark’s participation in a three-day, high-level summit he is hosting this week to share best practices and agree on a plan of action to counter radicalization, recruitment and incitement to violence, the White House said.