Suspect held for arson attack on Copenhagen mosque
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Suspect held for arson attack on Copenhagen mosque

Danish police arrest man who allegedly threw flammable liquid on building before setting it alight

A worker paints a wall inside the mosque in Rovsingsgade in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 16, 2014. (AFP/Scanpix Denmark/Thomas Lekfeldt)
A worker paints a wall inside the mosque in Rovsingsgade in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 16, 2014. (AFP/Scanpix Denmark/Thomas Lekfeldt)

STOCKHOLM — Danish police said Sunday they had arrested a man on suspicion of torching a mosque in Copenhagen earlier in the day.

“At 11:31 am (0931 GMT), the police were informed that a man had started a fire by throwing a flammable liquid … at the Muslim center,” a police statement said.

The fire, which caused only superficial damage to the outside of the building, was quickly contained, police said.

The suspect, who was born in 1980, will appear in court on Monday.

The religious association whose members worship at the mosque, denounced the fire as “an act of terrorism” on its website.

This act “was likely the result of political and religious motives… As tragic at it is, it unfortunately does not surprise us,” the center said.

Since February, when a young Dane of Palestinian origin shot dead a filmmaker and an unarmed Jewish security guard outside a synagogue, Denmark’s Muslim community has feared being viewed with suspicion.

Out of Denmark’s population of 5.7 million, nine percent are foreign-born, of whom some 296,000 originate from “non-Western” countries, official statistics show.

In June, the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party became Denmark’s second largest party, securing 21.1 percent of the vote, its highest score ever.

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