Three held in Denmark over interview praising terrorist attack in Iran

Denmark has arrested three individuals on suspicion of having praised a terrorist attack in Iran two months ago that killed at least 24 people, including children.

The suspects were believed to be members of the exiled Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), a separatist group based in Denmark.

“Three people have been arrested suspected of violating the Danish law … on condoning terrorism,” the police said. “Despite the fact that they are suspected of having committed crimes, they [the detainees] continue to be protected by extensive security measures because of the threat posed to them.”

The national intelligence agency has said a police operation in September that briefly cut off Copenhagen from the rest of Denmark stemmed from an alleged Iranian plot to kill an ASMLA activist. The person was not named.

Last week, Denmark recalled its ambassador from Tehran and called for fresh US sanctions after its security services accused the Iranian intelligence service of plotting an assassination on Danish soil.

A Copenhagen-based ASMLA spokesman, Yacoub Hor al-Tostari, described the attack in Ahvaz, south-west Iran, as having hit “legitimate” military targets, in an interview with the London-based Iran International TV station, which the Guardian revealed had close ties with the Saudi crown prince. The group later backpedalled on its initial claim of the attack.

The UK media regulator, Ofcom, is scrutinising Iran International TV for broadcasting the interview, and considering whether to launch an official investigation. Television stations are forbidden under UK law from airing interviews with groups or individuals condoning terrorist attacks.