Hundreds Attend Funeral of Copenhagen Gunman

Hundreds attend the Islamic burial of Omar El-Hussein, who was buried in an unmarked grave on the outskirts of Copenhagen.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Site of Copenhagen cafe shooting
Site of Copenhagen cafe shooting

Hundreds of people on Friday attended the Islamic burial of the gunman who killed two people in twin shootings in Copenhagen last weekend, AFP reported.

Omar El-Hussein, 22, was placed in an unmarked grave in the Muslim cemetery in Broendby, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, watched by around 500 people, mostly young men wearing thick black jackets against the cold and rain, the report said.

El-Hussein, a Danish citizen of Palestinian Arab origin, has been identified by police as the gunman who shot dead two people -- a filmmaker and a volunteer Jewish security guard -- in the Danish capital last weekend.

Before the burial, a short ceremony was held at a Copenhagen mosque following Friday prayers.

A man of east African origin, who refused to give his name, told AFP about the ceremony: "There were a lot of young people that you don't normally see there... because they knew Omar. Some of them were gang members.

"They are my brothers too because they believe in Allah and the Prophet Mohammed, but their lifestyle doesn't have a lot to do with Islam," he added.

Copenhagen's Muslim community was divided ahead of the funeral. A spokesman for the Danish Islamic Burial Fund objected to El-Hussein being buried at a cemetery run by his group.

"My concern is over extremist attitudes and actions on both sides," Ahmet Deniz told the Jyllands Posten newspaper ahead of the burial.

The funeral organizer, Kasem Said Ahmad, also from the Islamic Burial Fund, rejected claims that large numbers attending the funeral could be interpreted as support for the alleged gunman.

"It is a support for the family, not for him," he told Jyllands Posten.

El-Hussein had been identified by Danish media on Sunday as a man “a history of violent crime” who had only been freed from jail two weeks before the attacks.

A Lebanese website reported that he was of Palestinian Arab origin and that his parents had resided in a camp for “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon before moving to Denmark.

His first attack reportedly targeted controversial Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilk, who has faced several death threats since his cartoon portraying the founder of Islam Mohammed as a dog was published in a Swedish newspaper in 2007.

Vilks said this week that Danish police had underestimated the terrorist threat since January's Paris attacks.

"The attacker had good weapons, he had better weapons than the police... There was an escalation since the Charlie Hebdo attacks (in Paris) and the Danes had not caught onto that," he told AFP

"They did not step up security on Saturday. It was the same as we had previously... they must consider whether they need to be better armed," Vilks added, referring to the cultural center in Copenhagen that was the focus of the first of the twin attacks.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)