(AA) – President Barack Obama phoned Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt Monday following weekend attacks on a Copenhagen synagogue and free speech gathering that killed two and wounded five.
During the call Obama expressed his condolences to the Danish Premier, and emphasized American solidarity with the Danes.
“The two leaders 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 readout of the call.
The alleged shooter, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was known by Danish police for several crimes, and had just been released from prison having served time for aggravated assault stemming from a 2013-stabbing incident. He has also been connected to criminal gangs in the Danish capital, according to Danish police.
El-Hussein died in a shootout with police.
Thorning-Schmidt has said the events should not be regarded as a “war between Islam and the West.”
Denmark is one of more than 60 countries that will participate in this week’s White House counter terrorism summit that will take place in Washington.