Denmark charges 3 Iranian separatists with promoting terror

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Three members of an Iranian separatist group, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, were charged Thursday with financing and promoting terror in Iran with an unnamed Saudi intelligence service.

The three, who were arrested in February 2020 in Ringsted, 60 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Copenhagen, also were charged with illegal intelligence activity.

If found guilty, the men who were not named according to Danish rules, face up to 12 years in jail, chief prosecutor Lise-Lotte Nilas said in a statement.

“This is a very serious case where persons in Denmark have carried out illegal intelligence activities and financed and promoted terrorism from Denmark in other countries,” Nilas said. “Of course, this should not take place on Danish soil, and therefore I am satisfied that we can now bring charges in the case.”

The arrests of the three members of the London-based group were linked to a case in the Netherlands where police had arrested a 40-year-old man. Dutch police said that part of the ASMLA movement has an armed wing that carries out attacks in Iran, mainly against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as well as oil and gas fields.

The arrests in Denmark are also are linked to a 2018 police operation over an alleged Iranian plot to kill one or more opponents of the Iranian government. The operation briefly cut off the island on which Copenhagen sits from the rest of Denmark.

Tehran has accused ASMLA for an attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz in Sept. 2018, that left at least 25 people dead. The group has condemned the violence and said it was not involved.

Nilas said Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service started an investigation into the case involving the three men in November 2018.

They will face trial in Denmark, starting April 29.

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