Four men accused of planning to attack the Copenhagen newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 have been convicted of terrorism. They were arrested in 2010 before they could carry out the plot.
A Danish court found the four men guilty of plotting to attack the offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad seven years ago. They were sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to be expelled from Denmark after serving their time.
Prosecutors had accused Tunisian national Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, and Swedish citizens Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti , Munir Awad and Omar Abdalla Aboelazm of planning to "kill a large number of people" at the offices of the newspaper. The three Swedish citizens are of Tunisian, Lebanese and Moroccan origin respectively.
All four had pleaded not guilty to the charges of terrorism and three of them pleaded not guilty to charges of weapons possession. Dhahri pleaded guilty and was convicted of the weapons charge.
Arrests in Denmark and Sweden
They were arrested in a joint operation between Danish and Swedish police on December 29, 2010. Danish police had wiretapped the suspects and said they moved in to make the arrests after hearing that the men were about to travel to the newspaper's offices.
Danish police arrested three of the suspects in a Copenhagen suburb, while their Swedish counterparts took Zolouti into custody outside of Stockholm later on the same day.
Many Muslims found the cartoons - one of which depicted the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban - offensive, and they were protested all over the Arab world.
Denmark's PET intelligence service said earlier this year that Jyllands-Posten remains a prime target for Islamist extremists.
pfd, ncy/jlw (Reuters, AFP)