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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Five arrested in terrorist murder plot against Danish cartoonist

Five arrested in terrorist murder plot against Danish cartoonist

February 12, 2008

By Julian Isherwood, Scandinavia Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:24pm GMT 12/02/2008

Heavily-armed Danish police today arrested five men alleged to have been planning to murder one of the cartoonists behind the controversial images of the Prophet Mohammed that caused uproar in the Islamic world.

  • Uncertain World: The threats that face our globe

    The reported target of the alleged plot was Kurt Westergaard, one of 12 cartoonists commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed two years ago.

    Danish cartoon murder plot
    A man dressed as a suicide bomber protests against the Danish cartoons

    Westergaard's cartoon, which was reprinted by Jyllands-Posten today, was seen at the time as the most controversial, as it depicted the prophet with a bomb in his turban.

    "The security service has not wanted to run any risks and chose to act at a very early stage," said Jacob Scharf, Denmark's police intelligence service chief. "Tonight's operation has been a preventive measure."

    Police raided several addresses at 5am this morning, detaining five men - three Danish nationals and two foreigners. It is not clear whether the five have been charged, or whether they were being detained under counter-terrorism legislation. Early reports suggested that the two foreigners were likely to be deported from Denmark.

    Carsten Juste, the editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten, said: "We are happy that the security services have acted and seem to have carried out a successful operation." He added that the newspaper had been aware of an alleged plot for some time and that Westergaard was in good spirits "under the circumstances".


    In a statement on the newspaper's website, Westergaard said: "Of course I fear for my life after the Danish security and intelligence service informed me of the plans of certain people to kill me.

    "However, I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness. I have attended to my work and I still do. I could not possibly have known how long I would have to live under police protection; I think, however, that the impact of the insane response to my cartoon will last for the rest of my life. It is sad indeed, but it has become a fact of my life."

    The cartoons inflamed anti-Danish and anti-Western sentiment among Muslims across the world.

    Denmark's cartoon crisis began in September 2005 when the Jyllands-Posten cultural editor Flemming Rose commissioned 12 satirical drawings about the Prophet Mohammed as part of a discussion on free speech.

    In January 2006, after both the newspaper and the Danish government refused Muslim demands for an apology, a wave of violence ensued during which several Danish embassies were set alight, a boycott of Danish goods was encouraged across the Muslim world and violent anti-Danish demonstrations were held, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Several demonstrators were killed in separate incidents as security forces sought to control the protests.

    Denmark's justice minister said today that the security service had not wanted to run any "unnecessary risk".

    "It is clear that suspicions about preparations of such a serious crime give rise to deep concern. The security service has not, however, deemed it necessary to raise the general threat level," said Lene Espersen.

    The chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Faith in Denmark said that his organisation saw the cartoon issue as "closed". "

    There is freedom of speech in Denmark, and we have closed this issue," said Kassem Ahmad. His organisation was one of the groups in Denmark that unsuccessfully demanded an apology from the Danish state and sanctions against Jyllands-Posten. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/12/wdane112.xml

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    For more on the picture above see: UK Muslim who dressed as suicide bomber to protest Mohammed cartoons 'apologises' to avoid prison probation fallout


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  • February 12, 2008

    July 18,2007

    Four men jailed over cartoon demo

    The four men jailed (clockwise from top left: Umran Javed, Abdul Muhid, Abdul Saleem and Mizanur Rahman) Javed, Muhid, Saleem and Rahman had denied holding extremist views
    Four Muslim men have been jailed for their part in protests at the Danish embassy in London, against cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

    Mizanur Rahman, 24, Umran Javed, 27, and Abdul Muhid, 24, were each jailed for six years for soliciting to murder after telling a crowd to bomb the UK.

    A fourth man, Abdul Saleem, 32, was jailed for four years for stirring up racial hatred at the protest in 2006.

    The men, from London and Birmingham, were convicted at the Old Bailey.

    Judge Brian Barker said their words had been designed to encourage murder and terrorism.

    Muhid was not a man without prospects

    Who are the jailed four?

    About 300 protestors marched outside the Danish embassy in February last year after cartoons satirising Muhammad were published in newspapers in Denmark and other European countries.

    Outside the sentencing hearing, a group of around 40 demonstrators waved placards with slogans including "Muslims Under Siege".

    'Blood running'

    Rahman, from Palmers Green, north London, was filmed at the rally talking over a loudspeaker and calling for UK soldiers to be brought back from Iraq in body bags.

    He said: "We want to see their blood running in the streets of Baghdad.

    "We want to see the Mujahideen shoot down their planes the way we shoot down birds. We want to see their tanks burn in the way we burn their flags."

    We shall continue to take incitement very seriously and prosecute it robustly where there is enough evidence for us to do so
    Sir Ken Macdonald, DPP
    Limits on freedom of speech?

    Javed, from Birmingham, was filmed by police shouting: "Bomb, bomb Denmark. Bomb, bomb USA."

    Father-of-five and BT engineer Saleem was cleared of soliciting murder at his trial in February, but convicted of stirring up racial hatred.

    Saleem, from Poplar, east London, chanted, "7/7 on its way" and "Europe, you will pay with your blood".

    Finally, Abdul Muhid, 24, said to be the leader of the demonstration, chanted "Bomb, bomb the UK" and waved placards with slogans such as "Annihilate those who insult Islam".

    The men had denied having extremist views and said they were simply following others rather than leading the protests.

    'Stepped over line'

    After the case, Ch Supt Ian Thomas, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "We have a long history of facilitating lawful demonstration, taking into account freedom of speech.

    "However, these people stepped over that line and broke the law."

    The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, said: "Terrorism attacks our way of life and incitement can make a very real contribution to it.

    "We shall continue to take incitement very seriously and prosecute it robustly where there is enough evidence for us to do so."



    November 13,2006


    Cartoons protester faces retrial
    Rahman during the cartoons protest Mizanur Rahman was filmed taking part in the protest
    A man who called for the killing of British troops is to be retried on a charge of inciting murder.

    Mizanur Rahman, of Palmers Green, north London, was arrested after a protest at the Danish Embassy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

    The cartoons had been published in a number of European newspapers.

    He was convicted of stirring up racial hatred at the Old Bailey last week, but jurors were unable to agree on a charge of inciting murder.

    Web designer Rahman, who had denied both charges, was remanded in custody while the prosecution decided whether there should be a retrial over that charge.

    The Crown Prosecution Service has now said it wanted to go ahead with a retrial, which is expected to take place in January.

    Protest chants

    The 23-year-old was arrested after a rally in London on 3 February which was attended by some 300 Muslims.

    Mizanur Rahman Prosecutors claim Rahman urged another 9/11 in Europe

    Prosecutors at his original trial alleged that during the protest, Rahman had called for British and American troops to be brought back in body bags.

    The prosecution at the Old Bailey added that he had also called for more 9/11-style attacks.

    In his defence Rahman said he had no intention of anyone carrying out the actions he called for, saying he had become carried away and was only repeating chants made by other marchers during the protest.

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