With baseball caps pulled low over their eyes and scarves wrapped tightly around their mouths, the young men huddled at sundown to pay tribute to a killer.
More than a dozen had come to the scene where their “brother” was shot dead by police after he sprayed gunfire outside a cafe and a synagogue. Now they would give him a proper — and defiantly public — send-off: quiet prayers, followed by repeated chants of “Allahu Akbar” and the raised-index-finger salute of the Islamic State.
“May Allah show you grace,” read the handwritten sign they taped to the bullet-scarred apartment building where 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein fell. “Rest in peace, Captain.”
Hours later, an estimated 30,000 Danes held torches to the freezing Baltic wind in their own Monday evening commemoration — this one for Hussein’s victims. Swaying to the rhythm of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” they vowed not to bend to the radicalism that drove the gunman to take two lives over the weekend in the country’s first fatal terrorist attack in three decades.
“When violence and hatred hits Denmark, the answer is community and democracy,” Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told the solemn crowd.