US, Danish leaders vow to confront terror together

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt attending a memorial ceremony after terror attacks shocked the Nordic nation, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Feb 16, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt attending a memorial ceremony after terror attacks shocked the Nordic nation, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Feb 16, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama expressed solidarity with Denmark after two shootings that shocked the Nordic nation, and vowed to confront anti-Semitism and assaults on freedom of expression together with Copenhagen.

Faced with the spectacle 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, Mr 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 Mr Obama offered his condolences for the victims and expressed “American solidarity with our Danish allies”.

Mr 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 radicalisation, recruitment and incitement to violence, the White House said.