Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The Old Mo toons for your viewing...My favorite is the Old Mo has the bomb turban...

Islamic extremists 'plotted to kill Danish Mohammad cartoonist'
Marcus Oscarsson, of The Times, Copenhagen

Danish security forces say they have arrested three suspected Islamic extremists who were plotting to assassinate one of the 12 artists behind the Mohammad cartoons that provoked widespread riots across the Middle East and Asia.

The Danish Intelligence Agency said the target of the plot was Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist who drew the Prophet Mohammad wearing an explosive turban, one of a series of cartoons published in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten on September 30, 2005.

The Danish Intelligence Agency said the raid took place in the Aarhus area, in west Denmark, early this morning. One of those arrested is a 40-year-old Danish citizen with Moroccan origins. The other two are citizens of Tunisia.

Police Chief Jakob Scharf, the director of the Agency, said: “The Intelligence Agency does not want to take any chances and has therefore decided to act at a very early stage in order to stop the plans to go through with the murder.

“The raid should primarily be seen as a preventive action and the goal is to stop an infringement of the law.”

The Danish citizen is being held under suspicion of terrorism, but it is expected he will be released soon. “Since the Intelligence Agency acted in a very early stage, in order to prevent the plans of a terror related murder, it is the Intelligence Agency’s expectation, that the arrested will be released after questioning,” said Mr Sharf.

The two men from Tunisia are expected to be deported.

Mr Westergaard, 73, was upset and shaken at the news this morning. “Of course I fear for my life when the Intelligence Agency reveals that specific persons are working with concrete plans to kill me,” he said. “But I have turned the fear into anger and indignation.”

His cartoon, one of 12 published in the Danish paper, was intended to show that many misuse the prophet to legitimise terrorist acts. However, the drawing was quickly misinterpreted to show the prophet as a terrorist, according to Mr Westergaard.

Reprinted in papers across Europe, the publication of the cartoons caused violent riots from Libya to Indonesia, in which more than 100 people were killed and Danish and Norwegian embassies were attacked and set on fire.

Several nations withdrew their ambassadors from Copenhagen and Danish goods were boycotted in parts of Africa and Asia, hitting Danish companies hard.

Mr Westergaard and his wife Gitte, 68, has since received many threats and have been under police guard for three months, forced to move around between various secret addresses.

“I am angry over the fact that an ordinary act, something I have done thousands of times have been misused and triggered this mania,” he said. “I do not know for how long I have to stay under police safety but I believe that the aftermath of this crazy reaction will go on for the rest of my life. It is sad but it is still my living conditions”, he said.

According to Danish media, the plotters planned to assassinate Mr Westergaard at his home. Both Danish and foreign citizens are among the arrested extremists.


Pertinent Links:

1) Islamic extremists 'plotted to kill Danish Mohammad cartoonist'

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