Saudi IS supporters claim they shot Danish man

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2014 6:06 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Supporters of the Islamic State extremist organization have released a video claiming responsibility for the shooting and wounding of a Danish citizen in the Saudi capital Riyadh last month.

The Al-Battar Media Foundation's video, released Monday, shows a gunman pulling up beside a vehicle and firing five times at the driver. The group identifies the target as Thomas Hoepner. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video.

Saudi security officials had said that a Danish man was shot while driving Nov. 22, and that he was treated for shoulder wounds. Security officials did not release his name and said the incident was under investigation.

If confirmed, it would be the first attack on foreigners carried out by supporters of the al-Qaida breakaway group inside the kingdom. Al-Qaida militants seeking to topple the Western-allied monarchy launched a wave of attacks around a decade ago that killed scores of security forces and Westerners.

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard told reporters in Brussels Tuesday that "the Dane is doing better". He said the embassy in Riyadh is in contact with Saudi authorities investigating the case.

Thies Broegger, spokesman for the Denmark-based dairy cooperative Arla Foods, confirmed to The Associated Press that one of its employees was shot after leaving the office in Saudi Arabia, but declined to confirm the employee's name or discuss the newly-released video. He said Arla Foods has several hundred employees in Saudi Arabia, mainly local staff, and that security has been stepped up.

The video includes audio clips of IS group leaders calling on supporters to launch attacks inside Saudi Arabia.

A Canadian man was stabbed in a shopping mall in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province over the weekend. Police arrested the assailant, but the motive remains unknown.

Denmark, Canada and Saudi Arabia are part of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi police say Islamic State supporters were behind an attack on Shiite worshippers last month that killed seven people in the eastern region.


Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen contributed to this report.