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Danish student's exam jitters prompt police manhunt

AFP

Danish police stand in front of Copenhagen City Court on May 16, 2011Danish police stand in front of Copenhagen City Court on May 16, 2011

Danish police stand in front of Copenhagen City Court on May 16, 2011Danish police stand in front of Copenhagen City Court on May 16, 2011

A man who was the target of a police manhunt in Copenhagen on Thursday turned out to be a student suffering from pre-exam jitters while reading a book about terrorism.

"If you see the man, who according to a witness has exhibited suspicious behaviour, contact (us)," Copenhagen police wrote on Twitter.

Three surveillance camera pictures of the man were distributed to the public, and the appearance of a mysterious suitcase in Copenhagen's central Kongens Nytorv square fuelled media coverage of an extensive manhunt.

The man was described as having "Middle Eastern looks", "black hair" and "a full beard".

But despite describing the tip-off as "credible", police had to admit after six hours that there was no foul play involved and that the suspect was a student who was nervous about taking an exam.

Alisiv Ceran, an English language-student, had taken the train to Copenhagen University where he was scheduled to take a test. On the trip he read a mandatory course book titled "War on Terror", broadcaster TV2 reported.

A printer he claimed was required for the written exam then fell out of his bag, making him even more jittery -- and prompting a concerned passenger to contact the police.

The Copenhagen student said he was nervous the printer had been damaged, meaning he would have to write all the answers by hand.

"To the female co-passenger: I'm sorry I scared you. I will smile a bit more in the future," Ceran said.

After seeing his picture in the media Ceran hid in a public bathroom, saying he was afraid he would be attacked by members of the public.

"I absolutely don't think we have overreacted," police inspector Mogens Lauridsen said at a press conference.

"We can't deny that it may have had negative effects, but we haven't gotten any feedback that it scared the public," he added.

Date created : 2014-08-28