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February 15, 2015 1:31 am

Victim in Copenhagen Attack Was Jewish Community Member Guarding Synagogue During Bat-Mitzva

avatar by Judith Bergman

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The Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Wikipedia.

The civilian who was shot and killed earlier on Sunday in the terrorist attack on the Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen, Denmark, was a member of the Jewish community named Dan Uzan, who was guarding the synagogue at the time of the shooting, Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, head of the local Jewish community, told Danish television.

Uzan was described by members of the community as a brave young man, who was well liked and who had for years been serving it faithfully as a guard at community events.

Rosenberg Asmussen also said that around 80 people from the community were gathered inside the house of worship for a bat-mitzva celebration at the time of the attack.

“The Community is in shock, it is like the shootings in Paris,” Rosenberg Asmussen said, “we had contacted the police after the shooting at Café Krudttønden to have them present at the bat-mitzva, but unfortunately this happened anyway.”

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Rosenberg Asmussen said he was not present at the celebration and that he was afraid to think of what would have happened had the assailant been able to force his way into the community center.

It is yet unknown if the terrorist was in fact trying to force his way into the synagogue and if Uzan had stopped him. On Facebook, friends of Uzan appeared to agree that he had indeed prevented a massacre.

Uzan was shot in the head and two policemen were also shot in the arm and leg in the attack, according to reports. Officials say it is likely that the attack was connected to an earlier deadly assault on a cafe in the city.

Member of the Copenhagen City Council and former Chairman of the Jewish Community in Denmark, Finn Rudaizky, told The Algemeiner that he was “shocked, but not surprised” by the atrocity.

“We, as politicians, have to look inwards and ask ourselves, whether we have been taking the fundamentalist threat seriously enough? Have the authorities been taking the fundamentalist threat seriously enough? I encourage everyone in Denmark to stand side by side and my thoughts go to the wounded and the families of the killed,” he said. “I also think of when the Jewish Community contacted the authorities in September, 2014 about increased security for Jewish institutions, this was not received well. Only after the tragedy in Paris, did the Danish government show understanding for the need of the Jewish community to have increased protection.”

Rabbi Yitzi Loewenthal, the Chabad emissary in Copenhagen, told Israel Radio that Jews were now afraid to leave their homes.

Other members of the local Jewish community who spoke to The Algemeiner preferred to remain anonymous.

One young woman said that she was also “deeply shocked,” but not surprised by the attack.

“This is deeply shocking, but unfortunately not unexpected! It has been a matter of time only,” she said. “The peaceful little country that we used to know has been changed forever.”

A Jewish man said that, “As a Danish Jew, I am horrified by the incident this weekend in Copenhagen. An incident that clearly confirms that Jews in Copenhagen are not safe. I sincerely hope that the Danish authorities will catch the killers and at the same time supplement security, in order for Jews to be able to continue to reside, in once peaceful Denmark. I believe, if this will not happen, the small Danish Jewish community, will only have a little chance of surviving the storm.”

Danish police held a short press conference at 8AM Danish time, where they said they believed that a man they shot and killed close to the city’s Noerrebro train station, was the perpetrator of both attacks, and that there were still many loose ends that they would continue to investigate. A police spokesman said authorities believed that the terrorist had acted alone.

Officials said the earlier attack, which saw one man killed after some 40 shots were fired into the Krudttønden Cafe, was likely a terror attack.

The Cafe was hosting a debate on freedom of speech which was attended by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Following the first attack, Denmark’s Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, said, “We feel certain now that it’s a religiously motivated attack, and thereby it is a terrorist attack. We take this situation extremely seriously. We are in a high alarm all over the country, and our main priority at this stage is to catch the perpetrators and make sure that we find them as soon as possible.”

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  • Fleurette Schwartz

    My heart goes out to the families of those murdered & I wish the injured a speedy recovery.
    I Have Just one question – Why is it that its always the Jews that are attacked all over the world ? Don’t give me the anti Semitic spin that Jews rule the media , Jews control world finance etc. Its false . Jews obviously don’t control it in Nigeria nor in Saudi Arabia etc. The Jews living in Israel -Their rightful home _ are under constant threat & attack for no other reason than the fact that they are Jews !! Yes they are Israelis by citizenship but they are attacked because they are successful Jews having made the desert bloom & succeeded in the field of high tech way beyond their small numbers , yet, this is the ONLY country that is signaled out to be “wiped off the world map” by the fanatic, fantastic dreams of the followers of Radical Islam . And the world stands by watching while these brutal acts occur till- the ball is in their court & then they just wring their hands in fear & shock ! WHY is nothing being done ? Why is the world media not honest about their reporting? Why do moderate Muslims allow & thus support this brutality? Why is Israel condemned at ever twist a & turn when all it wants is , to survive & prosper on their own soil ? PS. The Palestinian problem could have been solved long ago if Arab countries absorbed the so called eternal “refugees” into their vast deserts or super modern oil rich lands, instead of enticing them to commit acts of terror. Jordan is over 80% Palestinian. The Gulf states don’t allow Palestinians to disembark when they are “in transit” in their countries !! One last forgotten fact- the same number of Jews were expelled from the Arab countries as the number of Palestinians, They were successfully absorbed & never waved the flag of “refugees” nor of “TERROR” !

  • Beck

    A Bat mitsvah is a ceremony bringing young girls or women into Judaism. Bar mitsvah for boys and men. And bat mitsvah for women. In Christianity you ask Jesus in your heart, repent of your sins and you are born again. in Judaism you learn to read prayers in Hebrew and study the old testament and help people and do good deeds. The total opposite of Islam where you want to force others to believe like you do, take over the world and kill everyone who doesn’t obey you. the God of Islam is not the God of the Bible. Europeans should start reading their Bibles.

  • Cindy W (Oak Park)

    President Obama will claim that this is just a ‘random’ attack; not anti-Semitic. Like the murders at the kosher deli in Paris were ‘random’.

  • Avshalom

    just wondering if the White House will call it also a random murder like in kosher store in France?

  • sifter

    Time for Jews to conduct their own “random acts of retaliation”, dont ya think?

  • Dan Uzan, a hero to be recognized…so many deaths were avoided due to his efforts. Baruch Dayan Haemet.

  • Jonesy

    Close the bridge to Malmo,Sweden. I am thinking that area once, so beautiful, is now a hotbed of extremist fundalmentalism where in certain sections of the town there is Sharia Law. Malmo is a stone’s through from Copenhagen. There have been numerous anti Semitic/anti Western attacks in Malmo in the past few years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that there is a hotbed of radicalism brewing there. Any time there is an anti Semitic attack it only makes the case for Israel as the Jewish homeland more compelling. But these extremists are clearly not the sharpest tools in the shed. Hopefuly, this nutcase acted alone.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    But Obama told us the Crusades.

  • DACON9

    WHATS A BAT MITZVAH?

    OOOOH..sorry …
    its a feminist movement to be equal with men.

    • know the tradition

      What are you talking about?! A bat mitzvah is when a Jewish girl reaches the age of 12, same as a bar mitzvah is when a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13. It is the transition into adulthood in regards to mitzvot and the young woman or young man’s increased power to effect the whole world through his thoughts, speech and actions – through mitzvot. Thats why they are a bat or bar MITZVAH. There are different ways that folks celebrate this transition equally for young women and young men.

      • DACON9

        KIND OF LATE FOR ME TO RESPOND BUT I WILL EDUCATE YOU.
        A bar mitzvah is a MIZVAH.

        A bat mitzvah is meaningless to make girls freel wanted needed and/or equal to their brother.

        If Torah is taught,
        ANYTIME TORAH IS TAUGHT
        IT IS A MITZVAH.
        A GIRL DOES NOT GO TO THE TORAH TO READ.
        You can change all the laws you want on earth.
        You can make things gender correct
        you can modernize what you think needs modernazation. You can call yourself enlightened
        reformed deformed conservative,The men leading you in those ”modernized” services can call themselfs rabbis all they want and all you want.

        IF THEY WERE CORRECT, THE WORLD BODY OF OUR GREAT RABBIS IN ”’THIS”’GENERATION such as R’ MOSHE FIENSTIEN WOULD HAVE TOLD ALL ISRAEL THAT WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MAKING ”BAT MITZVAHS”
        As of now only the caterer,the photographer and the insecure family support a ”’bat”MITZVAH other then misinformed jews.

    • Cindy W (Oak Park)

      A bat-mitzvah has nothing to do with feminism. Bat means daughter. A girl becomes bat-mitzvah at the age of 12; a boy becomes bar-mitzvah at the age of 13. This is the age where they are religiuosly responsible for their own actions.

    • Mother Nature

      Dacon 9. Sounds like a chemical weapon

      • DACON9

        I AM A CHEMICLE WEAPON
        THE CHEMICLES LIKE THE CLOUD OF GLORY AND THE MANNA FROM HEAVEN AND THE FIRE OF TORAH

        WATCH OUT
        AND LEARN FROM ME
        LET ME HELP YOUI ELEVATE YOUR SOUL.

    • lcgbv

      And your point is?

  • 1

    PEOPLE DID NOT KNOW OR READ THAT ARABS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLENCE INSTEAD THEY WERE WELCOMED GREETED WELL IN PUBLIC OFFICES NOT ANYMORE . THEY WILL SETTLE DOWN WHEN THEY SEE THE PEOPLE NOT WITH THEM. WHAT THE JEWS HAVE MADE ISRAEL OUT TO BE WHERE THE ARABS NEVER DID BEFORE AND STILL THE BRAINWASH FROM THE ARABS INTO PUBLIC OFFICES TO RESUME THEIR VIOLENCE WITH APPROVAL WILL REVERSE ITSELF.

    • Madame Zeroni

      What the heck are you trying to say? Completely uni telligible

  • Steven Wenick

    It’s time for Jews to get on their high horse, take the moral high ground and prepare to battle random acts of murder by Islamists terrorists.

    • JRM

      Just the Jews???? Really???

  • Eric R.

    Despite Denmark’s actions in WW 2 and its historical tolerance, the present far-left goverrnment is a bunch of filthy Nazi jew-hating scum, as are most of the media.

    If Jews cannot be safe in Denmark (and they have not been for awhile now), they Jews are in mortal danger EVERYWHERE in Europe, and must leave.

    While this was almost certainly carried out by a Muslim, make no doubt about it, the vast majority of Europeans support this murderer.

    Too bad about Copenhagen, I hear it’s a lovely city. But if it comes to it, Israel will just have to destroy it in the Samson Option along with every other European capital.

    • Bo R.

      “it us better to keep your mouth closed and let people thonk you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”

      Mark Twain

  • Max Cohen

    The killers who act in the name of Allah disgrace their God rather than serving Him. It is an act of cowardice to walk up to an unsuspecting and unarmed person and shoot him. The masked killers of ISIS wear their masks not out of bravery, but out of guilt for their depraved and inhuman acts. Allah will express His rejection of such deeds with superior forces that will soon rid the world of them.

    • Faiz

      Islam doesn’t preaches violence against non Muslims infact it tells Muslims to live in peace and spread peace. Infact word Islam means peace. Anyone who is taking the law in his hand must be punished and we Muslims don’t count that person to be a true & practising Muslim. Our Prophet Muhammed never encouraged violence as he was sent by Allah (God) to spread message of Peace and worship and believe that God is one and none is worthy of worship besides him.

      If you read the teachings of Prophet Muhammad you will see its a complete way of spending a good life and how to live in peace with fellow humans either Muslim or non Muslims.

      But non Muslims should respect Prophet Muhammad and must not make any cartoons & comments against him and must respect other’s religion & prophets.

      Once again I say any fundamentalist or radicalism is not part of True Islam and must not be considered true Muslim !!

  • BARBARA SHABO

    President Obama would have called it workplace violence.

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