A court on Thursday convicted a 29-year-old Somali man of attempted terrorism and attempted murder for attacking a Danish cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Mohammed.
The court in the central Danish town of Aarhus ruled that Mohamed Geele not only tried to kill Kurt Westergaard when he broke into his home on January 1, 2010, wielding an axe and a knife, but that the attack also amounted to an act of terrorism.
“The court deems that the attempted murder of Kurt Westergaard in his own home, (of the man who) personifies the Mohammed cartoon affair, must be considered as an attempt to instil a heightened level of fear in the population and to destabilise the structures of society,” which falls under the Danish anti-terrorism law, judge Ingrid Thorsboe told the court.
The verdict was reached by a unanimous jury, she added
Westergaard, 75, had testified during last month’s trial that Geele rushed in screaming “You must die! You are going to Hell!”, forcing the cartoonist to escape “certain death” by rushing into a bathroom-turned-panic-room to call police.
The Somali had threatened police with his axe and knife before being shot twice and placed under arrest.
Geele insisted during the trial he was only trying to scare the cartoonist.
Now, this moron can rot in prison for the rest of his life. He will be sentenced tomorrow.
“I am an old, peaceful man and I am not vindictive but I am very satisfied,” Westergaard told The Associated Press. “I’ve never been in doubt that he was a terrorist who wanted to kill me. He was a holy warrior yelling and shouting as he was hammering the ax on the bathroom door.”
He could face life in prison, although such sentences are generally reduced to 16 years under Danish law. Prosecutors earlier had demanded that the defendant is (be) expelled from Denmark after serving the sentence.