Four are convicted for terrorist plot

2012-06-11

 

Four men from Sweden have been convicted on the basis of terrorist plot in Denmark. They were supposedly conspiring to attack the offices of the newspaper   Jyllands-Posten with weapons. The attack was planned to take place at the building that houses the two major newspapers, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken, just days before the New Year’s Eve 2010.

 

The men were arrested on December 29th 2010, three of them in Copenhagen and the fourth in Stockholm. Both Swedish (SÄPO) and Danish (PET) intelligence services have followed the three men traveling the entire car trip from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Prior to that the police has had the four men under surveillance for a long period of time. The fourth man, who stayed in Stockholm after deciding to discontinue the journey was convicted by as well.

 

According to the director of PET, Jakob Scharf, the men were only hours away from attacking the offices of the newspaper(s). according to the information given by the police, the men had an automatic weapon, a handgun and 200  of so called PlastiCuffs. A large amount of material used as evidence has been presented throughout the trial. The Prosecutor has relied heavily on hours of recordings from police surveillance of a Stockholm apartment where the attack have seemingly been planned. The recordings indicate that the men had planned to cause maximum destruction with their attack. All of them are between 31 and 46 years of age and according to the Prosecutor the men planned the attack as a part of a reprisal plot against the newspapers’ distribution of the so called Muhammed Caricatures.

 

All of the men have been sentenced to 12 years in prison, a highest possible sentence in this type of cases. The Prosecutor wanted the sentence to be extended between 14 and 16 years.

Five arrested for planning imminent terror attack

Danish Intelligence agency PET has arrested four men on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack against the Copenhagen offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The terror attack in Mumbai in 2008 was allegedly their inspiration. According to the agency, the arrests were made in suburban Copenhagen and were made following a long-term surveillance operation in collaboration with the Swedish Security Service SÄPO.

Three of the suspects are Swedish residents and reportedly arrived in Denmark December 28, and PET said the attack was to be carried out “in the following days”. All four suspects have Middle-Eastern or North African backgrounds. In addition to the arrests in Copenhagen, Swedish officials arrested a fifth suspect in Stockholm at the same time. During the arrests, Danish police found an assault rifle and silencer, ammunition, as well as plastic strips, which are often used by police as hand restraints.

According to PET, the group planned to kill as many people as possible in the building that houses Jyllands-Posten. Jakob Scharf, head of PET, described the suspects as “militant Islamists that had connections to international terror networks”. “The arrests underscore the terrorist threat that Denmark faces, and in particular anyone who is connected to the Mohammed drawings,” Scharf said.

Hirsi Ali receives newspaper honor

Ayaan Hirsri Ali, the former Dutch politician born in Somalia, has received a free speech award from Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. The paper named Hirsi Ali, well known for writing Theo Van Gogh’s film “Submission”, as winner of its Prize for Freedom of Expression. She is now lives in the United States

Danish newspaper apologizes for offending Muslims with the printing of Muhammad cartoons

Politiken newspaper, one of 11 Danish newspapers that reprinted the Mohammed cartoons, has issued an apology to eight Muslim organizations for offending Muslims – allegedly to avoid a lawsuit. The settlement reached between the paper and the organizations does not, however, apologize for the printing of the cartoons, nor prevent the paper from reprinting them in the future. The eight organizations who reached the agreement with Politiken are based in Egypt, Libya, Qatar, Australia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Palestine. Together they represent 94,923 descendents of the Prophet Mohammed.

In August last year, the groups’ Saudi lawyer, Faisal Yamani, requested that Politiken and 10 other newspapers remove the images from their websites and issue apologies along with a promise that the images, or similar ones, will never be printed again. Politiken is the only one of the 11 newspapers who has agreed on a settlement. Yamani says that within the next weeks the eight Muslim organizations will announce what kind of legal actions they will now take against the ten newspapers who haven’t agreed on a settlement.

Jyllands-Posten newspaper initially published the drawings in 2005, but following the murder plot in 2008 against one of the cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, 11 major Danish newspapers reprinted them as a symbol of solidarity. Politiken, which had initially been critical of the cartoons, chose to reprint Westergaard’s drawing and an editorial comment that said Jyllands-Posten deserved unconditional solidarity when it is threatened with terror. However, Politiken’s statement today said the decision to reprint the drawing of a man with a bomb in his turban was never intended as a “statement of editorial opinion or value, but merely as part of the newspaper’s news coverage”. The apology stated that it was “never Politiken’s intention to offend Muslims in Denmark or elsewhere. We apologize to anyone who was offended by our decision to reprint the cartoon drawing”.

Politiken’s editor-in-chief, Tøger Seidenfaden, says he is hoping the agreement will help improve relations between Denmark and the Muslim world and that “other acts of dialogue and reconciliation may follow”. But the move has been derided by other newspapers, cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and leading politicians. Other newspapers which reprinted the cartoon, including Berlingske Tidende, Kristeligt Dagblad and the original publisher Jyllands-Posten, refused to enter into the same agreement with the organizations. Jyllands-Posten editor, Jørn Mikkelsen, called it a “sad day for Danish media, for freedom of speech and for Politiken”. In 2006 Jyllands-Posten apologized for upsetting some Muslims with the cartoons, but Mikkelsen believes that Politiken’s apology crosses the line as it was made as part of a deal. Meanwhile, Westergaard accused the Politiken of giving up on freedom of speech and said they had given into the fear of terror. However, professor in rhetoric at University of Copenhagen, Christian Kock says that Jyllands-Posten apology from 2006 and Politiken’s apology are more or less similar. None of them apologizes for printing the cartoons. They apologize for offending Muslims by doing it. The difference is that Politikens apology is part of a settlement with Muslim organizations.

Opposition leaders Helle Thorning-Schmidt of the Social Democrats and Villy Søvndal of the Socialist People’s Party called the move outrageous and said deals should not be done involving freedom of speech. Not all politicians are deriding Politiken. Leader of Danish Social-Liberal Party Margrethe Vestager thinks Politiken acts courageously by choosing dialogue rather than confrontation. Also the Danish imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen praises Politiken for the apology. He doesn’t think the agreement is a threat against freedom of speech: “Politiken doesn’t apologize for printing the cartoons. They apologize for having offended some by doing it” Wahid Pedersen says.

Why did Yale University Press remove images of Mohammed from a book about the Danish cartoons?

The capitulation of Yale University Press to threats that hadn’t even been made yet is the latest and perhaps the worst episode in the steady surrender to religious extremism‹particularly Muslim religious extremism that is
spreading across our culture. A book called The Cartoons That Shook the World, by Danish-born Jytte Klausen, who is a professor of politics at Brandeis University, tells the story of the lurid and preplanned campaign of
“protest” and boycott that was orchestrated in late 2005 after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten ran a competition for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. (The competition was itself a response to the sudden refusal of a Danish publisher to release a book for children about the life of Mohammed, lest it, too, give offense.) By the time the hysteria had been called off by those who incited it, perhaps as many as 200 people around the world had
been pointlessly killed.

Incoming NATO chief pledges to confront religious prejudice, but defends prior position over Muhammad cartoons

The incoming head of NATO Fogh Rasmussen called for a balance between free speech and respect for religious feelings, after a dispute over his support for the right to caricature the prophet Muhammad. Rasmussen, who received objections from Turkey about his suitability for NATO’s top job, said he plans to pay close attention to religious sensibilities and sensitivities when he takes over the post of secretary-general in August.

“I would never myself depict any religious figure, including the Prophet Muhammad, in a way that could hurt other people’s feelings, […] I respect Islam as one of the world’s major religions,” the former Danish prime minister said at a conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

Rasmussen tried to distance himself from the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, but resisted calls to apologize for them, citing freedom of speech, and that his government could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark’s free press.

The row over his appointment was brought to resolve after US President Barack Obama guaranteed that Turkish commands would be present at the alliance’s command, and that one of Rasmussen’s deputies would be a Turk.

Back to the Drawing Board: Danish Muhammad cartoonist returns with new work

One of the controversial Danish cartoonists who sparked riots in the Muslim world in 2005 by drawing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is set to return soon with new works reflecting on the incident.

Kurt Westergaard, the Danish caricaturist forced into hiding after the publication of his depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, is set to return with a new set of potentially controversial drawings. According to a report in the Copenhagen Post, Westergaard is expected to have 26 illustrations in a new book that compiles the sardonic columns by Danish writer Lars Hedegaard for the Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

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Denmark: Muslims Take Prophet Cartoons to EU Court

Danish Muslims are planning to take the Jyllands-Posten daily newspaper of Denmark, to Europe’s highest rights court over the publication of satirical caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. The move to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights comes one day after a Danish court rejected a lawsuit by seven Muslims against the newspaper’s editors for publishing the offensive cartoons. Danish Muslim leaders described the Danish court’s decision as disappointing, but have hope that the European rights court will give the case more attention.

Denmark: Islamic terror suspects seized over plot to murder ‘Mohammad’ cartoonist

Danish police arrested at least three people today in a terror plot to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Mohammad drawings that sparked an uproar in the Muslim world and in Britain two years ago, authorities said. One of the three was a Dane of Moroccan descent, and two were Tunisian. The arrests were made in pre-dawn raids in Aarhus, western Denmark, “to prevent a terror-related murder,” the police intelligence agency said. It did not say how many people were arrested nor did it mention which cartoonist was targeted. However, Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the drawings on September 30, 2005, said the suspects were planning to kill its cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, 73.

Denmark: Muhamad Caricature Fallout: Denmark Busts Alleged Plot to Kill Cartoonists

Pre-dawn police raids in Denmark have netted five people suspected of involvement in a plot to kill a cartoonist whose depiction of the Prophet Muhammad helped spark international violence two years ago. Danish police conducted a series of pre-dawn raids Tuesday morning_and arrested several individuals suspected of planning to murder one of the 12 cartoonists whose unflattering depictions of the Prophet Muhammad led to worldwide protests in 2006. Those arrested include several “people with a Muslim background” with both Danish and foreign citizenship, according to the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which originally published the caricatures in the autumn of 2005. The paper reports that cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was the target of the plot and that Danish authorities have been investigating the threat for some time.