Danish cartoons ‘plotters’ held
Posted by sioeengland on February 12, 2008
Danish cartoons ‘plotters’ held from the BBC website
Danish police have arrested three people suspected of planning to attack a cartoonist who drew caricatures satirising the Prophet Muhammad.
Denmark’s intelligence agency said the arrests were made in the western Aarhus region at 0330 GMT “to prevent a murder linked to terrorism”. Two of the suspects are Tunisian and the third is a Dane of Moroccan origin. The pictures in Denmark’s biggest daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 sparked deadly worldwide protests. The Danish citizen will be released pending further investigation, while the Tunisians will be held until they are expelled from the country, said the Danish intelligence agency PET. Earlier reports said five people had been arrested. ‘Concrete plans’ The intelligence agency said the detentions were made “after lengthy surveillance”.
|I have turned fear into anger and resentment
It did not identify the target of the alleged plot, but the online edition of Jyllands-Posten said its cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, was the focus. The newspaper, based in Aarhus, said Mr Westergaard, 73, and his 66-year-old wife, Gitte, had been under police protection for the past three months. In a statement on Jyllands-Posten’s website, Mr Westergaard said: “Of course I fear for my life when the police intelligence service say that some people have concrete plans to kill me. “But I have turned fear into anger and resentment.”
The BBC’s Thomas Buch-Andersen in Copenhagen says the arrests have stunned people in Denmark, where the furore over the cartoons was thought to have passed. Mr Westergaard was one of 12 artists behind the drawings but he was responsible for what was considered the most controversial of the pictures. The caricature featured the head of Islam’s holiest prophet with a turban depicting a bomb with a lit fuse. The cartoons were later reprinted by more than 50 newspapers, triggering a wave of protests in parts of the Muslim world. The demonstrations culminated a year ago with the torching of Danish diplomatic offices in Damascus and Beirut and dozens of deaths in Nigeria, Libya and Pakistan.