Copenhagen (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Danish and Swedish security services say they have foiled a potentially devastating terrorist plot. Five militants who wanted to "kill as many people as possible" in the offices of the newspaper that published the Prophet Muhammad cartoons in Copenhagen were arrested yesterday. In September 2005, Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, depicting him with a bomb tucked in his turban, that sparked reactions in the Islamic world.
Yesterday, the Danish intelligence services arrested four men in the suburbs of the capital, and seized weapons and ammunition. The Swedish police arrested a fifth suspect, a Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin of 37 years residing in Stockholm. The Danish Minister of Justice, Lars Barfoed, described the plot as "terrifying" and said it was the "most serious terrorist attack" ever planned in Denmark.
Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish Intelligence Service, told reporters that the militants wanted to attack the offices of Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen, and once inside, open random fire with automatic weapons. "They wanted to kill as many people as possible”. The Islamic militants are “linked to international terrorist networks”, he added. More arrests are possible. There have been until now at least four plots aimed at attacking the Jyllands-Posten, and Kurt Westergaard, the artist who drew the cartoons. Westergard described the plots as a direct attack on democracy and freedom of expression. "We can not and will not let anyone stop us from criticizing radical Islam. We must not be intimidated when it comes to our values, "he said in an interview. At the time of their publication the cartoons led to demonstrations and violence in Asia and throughout the Islamic world.