This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Charges filed in Norway over terror plot against cartoonist

Three men accused of plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad have been charged with terror offences in Norway.

File photo, the exterior of a building housing the Jyllands-Posten Copenhagen office, Denmark
File photo, the exterior of a building housing the Jyllands-Posten Copenhagen office, Denmark
Image: Niels Hougaard/AP/Press Association Images

A NORWEGIAN PROSECUTOR has filed terror charges against three men accused in an al-Qaeda linked plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

Director of Public Prosecutions Tor-Aksel Busch filed an indictment late Monday against Mikael Davud, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak and David Jakobsen, who were arrested in July 2010. All three have pleaded innocent.

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 e-mails — 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 newspaper 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 key ingredient with a harmless liquid to ensure they wouldn’t succeed in building a bomb.

Davud and Bujak, a 38-year-old Iraqi Kurd, were also charged with plotting to shoot Kurt Westergaard, one of the Danish cartoonists who drew the 12 caricatures of Muhammad in 2005. The cartoons sparked riots in Muslim countries and put the newspaper in the cross-hairs of radical Islamists.

Bujak told police the target of the Norwegian plot was Jyllands-Posten. But Davud claims he wanted to bomb the Chinese Embassy in Oslo and that the other two were not aware of his plans, according to his lawyer Carl Konow Rieber-Mohn. In Norway, plotting a terror act alone is not a crime. If at least two people are involved they can be convicted of conspiracy.

Rieber-Mohn told the AP that he was “surprised” that the prosecutor ignored Davud’s version of events in the indictment.

Jakobsen, a 33-year-old Uzbek national, became a police informant in November 2009 but still faced charges for his involvement in the plot before then.

“He is disappointed,” Jakobsen’s defense lawyer, Rene Ibsen, told the AP. “He went to the police because he was troubled by the information he had gotten (about the plot). And he cooperated with police to get additional information.”

Bujak’s lawyer didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

All three suspects deny any links to al-Qaeda.

If convicted they could face up to 12 years in prison. The trial is set to start on Oct. 31.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next: