Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Denmark: Intelligence agency chief resigns after Islamist attacks

Danish intelligence agency head Mr, Jens Madsen has quit, hours before a report was released into February's fatal shootings in Copenhagen by an Islamist.

"It's no secret that it is a very demanding position," Mr.Jens Madsen said, without giving the reason for his resignation.  Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen declined to say whether the move was linked to criticisms of the police response to the attack.

In a statement, Mr Madsen, who had led the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) since January 2014, said: "After careful consideration, I have agreed with the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and the National Commissioner of Police that I will now undertake new tasks to develop Danish police."

He also acknowledged that his tenure had been difficult.  Meanwhile, the government report criticised some of the police actions immediately after the shootings.  It said that after the first shooting outside a cultural centre, nearly four hours passed before officers were posted outside Copenhagen's main synagogue - the scene of the second attack.

"That is too long; it's obviously not satisfactory. It can't be explained," Ms Frederiksen said and this is the best comment said in Denmark for ages! 

SDR thinks that in a society like Denmark where CCTV is endemic to most places its strange to see how anyone could not monitor this any further and that the few pictures existing are a proof of not just the Danish authorities taking measures, but what´s most annoying here is that the arrangers did not do more for their own protection!  Its rather certain that anything related to the the Muhammad Cartoon is an open invitation to Islamic resistance of free speech.
Not to acknowledge that and just to blame the intelligence agency is wrong, even if they where denying Omar El-Hussein as not a risk the arranges should not have been as stupid as PET.

For the intelligence agency PET not to reach out to civilians well knowing of the risks that are at stake one might easily conclude that there was neglect mainly in strategic relations and interactions.

Questions like: Why did not armed guards check the participants and visitors with a metal detector ?
This would be the most simple and effective way to make an attack difficult.....

At last but not least:
Omar El-Hussein, 22, had been released from prison two weeks before the shootings.
Despite warnings from prison officials that he may have become radicalised in jail, PET said at the time they had "no reason" to believe he had been planning any attacks. Now that's truly a good reason for PET to be taking the fall. But just to sack the leader is not going to change the failing structure of incompetence that seems to be endemic in PET.

A new leader is fine, but a new structure dealing with evaluations must be seen as a must!