» 12/30/2010, 00.00
Islamic terrorists were planning a massacre in Copenhagen to "avenge" the Muhammad cartoons
Five Muslim militants in prison in Denmark and Sweden. They planned to "kill as many people as possible" in the offices of Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that published the cartoons in 2005. The security services are investigating possible links with international terrorist networks. The publication sparked protests, riots and bombings in Asia and the Islamic world.
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.
More deaths in the cartoon affair whilst some Muslim leaders urge not targeting "Christians"
In Afghanistan, four people die in the worst incident. Tehran and Damascus are hit by "spontaneous" protests. In Jordan and Yemen, editors are arrested for printing some of the cartoons.
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Muslim conference "for the Support of the Prophet" opens
Some 300 Muslim leaders and scholars are gathered in Bahrain to study ways to react to the Muhammad cartoons. Debates are animated; some voices call for non violent means of protest.
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Islamic conference calls for respect of all religions, condemns violence
Conclusions of the "International Conference in Support of the Prophet" that drew 300 scholars are largely ignored by the Arab press which focuses on Danish imams' call for continued boycott of Denmark.
Another Christian imprisoned for “blasphemy”
Following an altercation, a man who owed money to a Christian woman accuses her of insulting the prophet Muhammad, an offence that also carries the death penalty. She was taken into custody by the police. Minority rights group blames Islamic extremists for using the law to strike at religious minorities or anyone who dare oppose them.
Protests flanked by calls for calm about Muhammad video
The governments of Amman and Teheran have responded with caution: "the best answer to such offences is to be more attached to our religion." Indonesian fundamentalists from the Indonesian Mujahdeen Council were harsh in their condemnation.
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Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
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