The exterior of a building housing the Jyllands-Posten Copenhagen office is seen. Four Swedes accused of plotting a revenge attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper that printed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad have gone on trialThe trial is set to last until June 15.
Four men went on trial in Denmark on Friday accused of planning a “Mumbai-style” terror attack on the offices of a Danish newspaper whose publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005 outraged many Muslims.
The men, three Swedish citizens and one Tunisian, pleaded not guilty to involvement in the worst terrorist plot in Denmark to date, denying allegations they had planned to kill a large number of people at the offices of the paper, Jyllands-Posten.
“It is our perception that an unknown number of people were to be killed by shooting,” Chief Prosecutor Gyrithe Ulrich told TV2 News outside the courthouse in Glostrup, near Copenhagen.
Jyllands-Posten was the first to print a dozen cartoons lampooning Islam in 2005, triggering protests against Danish interests abroad and riots in countries from the Middle East and Africa to Asia the following year in which at least 50 people died.
Denmark’s state security police (PET) has said the planned attack was modelled on a 2008 shooting spree in Mumbai, when 10 Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people in a three-day assault at city landmarks, including two hotels and a Jewish centre.
The men belonged to a militant Islamist group and had links to international terrorist networks, the PET has said.
On trial are Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, a Tunisian, and three Swedish citizens – Lebanese-born Munir Awad, Swedish-born Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, and Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti, of Tunisian origin.
The four were arrested in a joint Danish-Swedish police operation in the suburbs of Copenhagen and Stockholm on Dec. 29, 2010. Police, who had been tracking the men for some time, have said that the attack was imminent “within days”.
All four pleaded not guilty to the main charge of terrorism, but Dhari pleaded guilty to the charge of illegally possessing weapons, which the others denied.
Another account of the trial beginning is here.
Again, this terrorist attack was planned because of this cartoon, among the others:
Another blow for freedom of speech.
The Court of First Instance of Mahdia sentenced two men to seven years of prison for charges relating to their posting of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed on Facebook. The decision is subject to appeal.
According to an extract of the decision, which was posted online, Jabeur Mejri and Ghazi Beji were sentenced to five years in prison for “troubling the public” order and “transgressing morality” by posting the images of the Prophet and an additional two for “bringing harm to others” across “networks of public communications.” The two men were each levied a fine of 1,200 dinars as well.
Beji has fled to Europe to avoid facing charges while Mejri is currently in jail in Mahdia and studying his appeal with his legal representation.
Bochra Belhaj Hmida, lawyer, activist, and ex-president of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, is currently involved in an effort to rally civil society against the decision. She stated that she found the decision shocking, particularly, “when one considers the fact that those in Tunisia who committed terrorist acts are free and those two men are being prosecuted for publishing such insignificant things.”
But, then again, most of the American press were afraid to post these cartoons or caricatures as well.
I wonder what my sentence would be, since I have posted them over and over?
Here is Kurt Westergaard’s most famous cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad:
Courtroom sketch by artist Marco Vaglieri shows Mikael Davud in an Oslo court Monday Jan. 30 2012. Davud was sentenced to seven years in prison for planning to bomb the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, the first convictions under Norway’s anti-terror laws. The Oslo district court sentenced alleged ringleader Davud, to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to three and a half years.(AP Photo / Marco Vaglieri, Scanpix)The court handed down its decision yesterday.
Two men were found guilty Monday of involvement in an al-Qaida plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, the first convictions under Norway’s anti-terror laws.
A third defendant was acquitted of terror charges but convicted of helping the others acquire explosives.
Investigators say the plot was linked to the same al-Qaida planners behind thwarted attacks against the New York subway system and a shopping mall in Manchester, England, in 2009.
The Oslo district court sentenced alleged ringleader Mikael Davud, to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to three and a half years.
Judge Oddmund Svarteberg said the court found that Davud, a Chinese Muslim, “planned the attack together with al-Qaida.” Bujak was deeply involved in the preparations, but it couldn’t be proved that he was aware of Davud’s contacts with al-Qaida, the judge said.
The third defendant, David Jakobsen, who assisted police in the investigation, was convicted on an explosives charge and sentenced to four months in prison — time he’s already served in pretrial detention.
Defense lawyers for the three told the court they would study the verdict before deciding whether to appeal.
Here is the photo of the other terrorist:
Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak appears in the Oslo courthouse, Oslo, Norway Monday Jan. 30, 2012And, all for what?
Offices of the Jyllands-Posten Newspaper which published the Mohammed Cartoons
Mikael Davud, David Jakobsen and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak are charged with planning to carry out an assault using explosives on Danish paper Jyllandsposten. The charges also say they planned to shoot Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, author of the controversial Prophet Mohammed caricatures.
All the men were arrested last year in Oslo and Germany following a Police Security Service (PST) raid. Authorities suspected they had planned to bomb the Chinese Embassy, with one of the three trying to obtain Hydrogen Peroxide from a pharmacy. This failed due to PST intervention.
It is also believed the plotters are connected to al-Qaida, and the case has ties to the United States.
The three men arrived in Norway between 1999 and 2002. Mr Davud and Bujak remain in custody while Mr Jakobsen, who served as an informant for the PST, has been released.
None of the suspects admit their guilt, but face up to 12 years in prison if convicted.
The three men risk prison sentences of up to 12 years, Evanger said.
Investigators believe the plot was linked to the same al-Qaeda planners behind 2009 schemes to blow up New York’s subway and a British shopping mall.
An Associated Press investigation last year showed all three plots were thwarted after suspected operatives exchanged emails – sometimes poorly coded – in and out of Pakistan.
Davud, a 40-year-old ethnic Uighur from China, was charged with receiving explosives training at an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan and agreeing to blow up one of several offices of Jyllands-Posten in Denmark.
Bujak and Jakobsen are accused of joining the plot in 2009 and helping acquire bomb-making chemicals.
Police say they had the men under surveillance and even replaced a vital ingredient with a harmless liquid to ensure they would not succeed in building a bomb.
Davud and Bujak, a 38-year-old Iraqi Kurd, were also charged with plotting to shoot Westergaard.
Westergaard drew the most controversial of the 12 cartoons, featuring Mohammed with a lit fuse in his turban. He was the victim of a murder attempt last year and has received several death threats.
Davud and Bujak have been held in custody since their arrest and have both admitted they were planning an attack, although their versions have differed on who their target was, the first saying it was the Chinese embassy in Oslo and the second claiming it was Jyllands-Posten.
Jakobsen has denied any responsibility and is currently a free man. He became a police informant in November 2009 but still faced charges for his involvement in the plot before then.
All three suspects deny any links to al-Qaeda.
In Norway, plotting a terrorist act alone is not a crime. If at least two people are involved they can be convicted of conspiracy.
The trial is set to begin on October 31.
Here are the Mohammed cartoons:
Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt WestergaardA very good question. You remember the story from yesterday, which I carried here.
Labour (Ap) MP Arild Stokkan-Grande, wants police to clarify why they chose to send the cartoonist back to Denmark instead of offering him protection.
“The police have to explain what they really meant by doing this. What is the purpose of providing this kind of advice? The primary goal of those behind these threats is to gag people and spread fear. Police let these dark forces win when they do nothing but recommend people not to show themselves at debates and in public places,” he told VG, saying he did not necessarily share Mr Westergaard’s political views.
Upholding the value of freedom of speech, Mr Stokkan-Grande continued, “If this spreads, I’m afraid this could mean we have already lost much of our freedom by giving in to those who want to threaten us to silence. Each example of this is an attack on us all.”
So, every time Westergaard is asked to speak, receive an award or go on holiday, he will be asked to leave the country due to security concerns?
Guess the radical Islamists have won by the mere threat of terror.
Norway should re-examine its security protocols.
The Islamists will never leave Kurt Westergaard in peace.
A Danish cartoonist targetted by Islamists for his 2005 caricature of the Prophet Mohammed cut short a visit to Norway after police caught wind of a possible attack against him, he said Tuesday.
Kurt Westergaard, 76, has already been the victim of a murder attempt and numerous death threats after drawing the most controversial of the 12 cartoons of the Prophet that appeared in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, depicting his turban with a lit fuse in it.
Westergaard had been scheduled to attend the launch in Oslo on Tuesday of a children’s book for which he provided the illustrations, but he cancelled and returned to Denmark late Monday after Norway’s intelligence agency PST was informed of a possible plot against him.
“I was told to return home immediately, the official version being that I had heart problems,” he told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
“It’s something that was decided by the Norwegian and Danish intelligence agencies (PST and PET) and so I returned home immediately,” he said, adding that he had no health complaints in reality.
Westergaard lives with 24 hour security after an axe-wielding Somali broke into his hon=me in January 2010.
All of this for a cartoon of Mohammed.
A court in Denmark has found a Somali man guilty of attempted terrorism for trying to kill a cartoonist whose portrayal in 2005 of the prophet Mohammad, led to outrage in the muslim world.Wow, the prosecutor says nine years is not enough for this miscreant.
An appeals court has begun a trial against a Somali man convicted of terrorism for breaking into the home of a Danish cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
The prosecutor on Wednesday asked the Western High Court to raise Muhideen Mohammed Geelle’s prison sentence to 12 years from the nine years given by a lower court in February. A verdict is expected next week.
The office of Jylands-Posten Daily where the Muhammad Cartoons were publishedOff Sabhi Zalouti goes to Denmark to stand trial over a foiled murder plot at Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper who published the Muhammad Cartoons.
Sabhi Zalouti, a 37 year-old Swede of Tunisian origin, was arrested in Stockholm in December while three of his alleged accomplices — two of them Swedish citizens — were arrested and are currently held in Denmark.
“Sabhi Zalouti will be sent to Denmark for legal proceedings in accordance to the European arrest order Denmark’s justice ministry put out on March 9th 2011,” the Attunda district court in the Stockholm suburb of Sollentuna said in its decision
Court documents showed Zalouti agreed with the decision on the basis that he could serve his sentence in Sweden.
He was being held on suspicion of “preparing terrorist crimes” and is wanted in Denmark on charges of attempted terrorism.
Danish officials said Zalouti and his accomplices were planning to kill as many as possible at the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten daily.
And, the reason for the speedy extradition?
Zalouti was promised he could serve his sentence in Sweden.
Great…..the Europeans coddling terrorists.Previous:
The Muhammad Cartoon Archive
It is not because of traditional Islamic doctrines, so it seems.
More than five years after Danish artist Kurt Westergaard published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, lives continue to be lost and—if we are to believe the police and intelligence agencies of dozens of countries—assassinations are still being attempted and plotted because Muslims have been angered by the display of such images. In December, a suicide bomber inspired by other insulting drawings of Muhammad attacked a busy shopping street in Stockholm; on Friday, a court in Copenhagen sentenced a Somali man to nine years in prison for attempting to kill Westergaard.
Traditional Islamic doctrine offers little explanation for this violent response. There is no explicit ban on figurative art in the Quran, and representations of Muhammad, though absent from public spaces, appear in illuminated manuscripts up until the seventeenth century; they still feature in the popular iconography of Shiism, where antipathy to pictures of the Prophet is much less prevalent. There are numerous such depictions—faceless or veiled as an indication of his holiness, or even depicted with facial features—in manuscript collections. It is only quite recently that Muslims living in the west have begun lodging objections to the reproduction of these images in books. The objections are by no means confined to a militant fringe. Populist sentiment—fuelled by the Salafist or “fundamentalist” trends emanating from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, has produced a near consensus among a majority of Muslims that representations of the Prophet and other holy figures are forbidden by Islam.
All the more puzzling, the recent iconophobia in popular Islam has largely ignored the spread of such images on the Web. Indeed, all the images that have been cited in the cartoons controversy are readily accessible online, including Westergaard’s notorious cartoon published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten depicting Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, and a more recent one by Swedish artist Lars Vilks showing him as a dog, modeled on the canine sculptures that since 2006 have been installed on Swedish traffic circles.
What has been missed in the recent upheaval is that Muslim piety and Muslim militancy have been at odds. Salafists yearning for a return to the “pure Islam” of the Prophet’s era are not necessarily the same as those seeking holy war against western influences, though there may be some overlap between the two. The pious Salafist response is exemplified by Abdul Haqq Baker, imam of the Brixton Mosque in London, who says that believers should avert their gaze from blasphemous images and desist from showing them around. The militants or jihadists have taken the opposite view, using the web to publicize the images while making threats against artists and publishers who dare to display them in a public gallery or on a printed page.
A question I have is why the New York Times (and a majority of American newspapers), where the above piece appears, has refused to print the Muhammad Cartoons.
Read the entire piece – it is a good historical summary of the Muhammad Cartoon FLAP.
News report on the sentencing of Mohamed Geele who was convicted of attempted murder of Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt WestergaardMohamed Geele who was convicted on attempted murder of Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was sentenced today to nine years in prison.
The man who broke into Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s home on New Year’s Day last year has been sentenced to nine years in prison for attempting to commit an act of terrorism. The 29-year-old Somalian, Mohamed Geele will also be deported after his sentence.
Today’s sentence was handed down by the Aarhus Municipal Court after a unanimous jury found Geele guilty yesterday. In addition to the terrorism charge, he was also found guilty of attempted murder against Westergaard, whose drawing of Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban was one of 12 depictions of the prophet published in 2005 by Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Geele, who was armed with an axe and a knife during the attack, had also been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer during the attack but was convicted of the lesser charge of aggravated assault.
Geele has appealed the decision to the Western High Court. His attorney, Niels Christian Strauss, said he disagreed with the court’s decision that breaking into Westergaard’s home and attempting to kill him constituted terrorism because it was meant to scare the public and destabilise society.
Strauss argued that an attack on an individual did not meet the definition of terrorism.
The court in the city of Aarhus sentenced Muhudiin Mohamed Geele to be expelled from Denmark and banned from the country for life after serving his sentence, a police official said.
From September 2009 to the time of the attack, the convicted man sought information on the Internet many times about militant Islamic groups’ opinions on the Mohammad drawings and Westergaard, the court said in the statement.
The prosecutor had asked for a 12-year sentence, but the defence lawyer had argued for no more than six years and said he would lodge an appeal, Danish media reported.
He was acquitted of another manslaughter charge, brought because he threw his axe at a police officer who arrived to arrest him, but was convicted of assaulting the officer.
For attempted murder, this is a relatively light sentence. But as long as he has NO chance of parole for nine years and will be deported, he will not be a threat to Westergaard again. However, unfortunatley, Westergaard will have to live in fear while the next Muslim extremist attempts to kill him.
And, over what?