Danish Police Foil Attempt on Life of “Mohammed Cartoonist”

Business | January 2, 2010, Saturday // 10:50|  views

An Al Qaeda-linked Somali man has made an attempt on the life of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Danish police have prevented an attempt to murder Kurt Westergaard, an author of one of the 12 cartoons of Prophet Mohammed which caused uproar in the Muslim world in 2006.

This has been announced by Jacob Scharf, head of Denmark’s intelligence agency, in a statement Saturday.

In his words, a 28-year-old Somali man armed with a knife and an ax tried to break into the home of 74-year-old Westergaard in Aarhus late Friday night.

The Danish intelligence service declares that the attempt of Westergaard’s life is connected with terrorism. The arrested man is linked with the Somali terrorist Group Ash Shabab and with Al Qaeda leaders in East Africa.

The attacker had been suspected of being involved in terrorist activities in East Africa; he has been watched by the Danish services on other suspicions not having to do with a possible attempt on the cartoonist’s life. He has a permit for permanent residence in Denmark.

The police have announced that the Somali attacked was shot in the arm and the knee during the incident but life is not in danger. He will be charged with attempting to murder the cartoonist and a policeman. It is still investigated if he acted alone.

Westergaard has told a local paper that the attacker was shouting “blood” and “revenge”. The cartoonist was with his 5-year-old granddaughter. They locked themselves in the bathroom and called the police who arrived in two minutes. The attacked threw an ax at one of the policemen who then shot him.

In 2005, 12 cartoons of Prophet Mohammed were published in the Danish paper Jyllands Posten. This caused a wave of anti-Western and anti-Danish protests in the some Muslim countries.

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Tags: Denmark, cartoonist, Prophet Mohammed, attempted murder, Somali


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