Four convicted in terror plot over Mohammed cartoons (PHOTOS)

AFP Photo / Henning Bagger
A Danish court has found four men guilty for planning an attack on a Copenhagen newspaper for its publication of satirical cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005.

The four were Muslim residents in Sweden and were arrested in December 2010, just days before the attack was planned. They had been under surveillance by Swedish and Danish intelligence agencies.

The men have pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and each face a potential 16-year jail sentence. One of them had pleaded guilty to the possession of illegal weapons.

A machine gun, a pistol and ammunition were found in the men’s possession when they were taken into custody.

Danish police had said the attack on the Copenhagen offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper was planned “to kill as many as possible.”

The Copenhagen newspaper was the first to publish political cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed. One of the cartoons showed him wearing a bomb as a turban.

The publication was greeted with international furor, sparking riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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Pakistani demonstrators burn a Danish flag during a protest against the republication of a controversial caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad, in Lahore on February 15, 2008 (AFP Photo / Arif Ali)
Pakistani demonstrators burn a Danish flag during a protest against the republication of a controversial caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad, in Lahore on February 15, 2008 (AFP Photo / Arif Ali)

There have been a string of incidents relating to the cartoons since their publication. Two Danish brothers of Somali origin were arrested last week, suspected of plotting an attack that police believe was inspired by the cartoons.

In addition, a Somali man was sentenced to ten years in prison after he attempted to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard with an axe in 2010.

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Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they rally outside the Danish embassy in Jakarta October 13, 2006, protesting against a video lampooning the Prophet Muhammad which was broadcasted in Denmark (Reuters / Dadang Tri)
Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they rally outside the Danish embassy in Jakarta October 13, 2006, protesting against a video lampooning the Prophet Muhammad which was broadcasted in Denmark (Reuters / Dadang Tri)

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Activists of Pakistani religious organisation the Islami Jamiat Talaba shout slogans during a protest against the republication of a controversial caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad, in Peshawar on February 15, 2008 (AFP Photo / Tariq Mahmood)
Activists of Pakistani religious organisation the Islami Jamiat Talaba shout slogans during a protest against the republication of a controversial caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad, in Peshawar on February 15, 2008 (AFP Photo / Tariq Mahmood)

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Kenyan Muslims demonstrate in Mombassa 10 February 2006, as they shouted anti-Denmark slogans to protest cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first published in a Danish newspaper (AFP Photo / Simon Maina)
Kenyan Muslims demonstrate in Mombassa 10 February 2006, as they shouted anti-Denmark slogans to protest cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first published in a Danish newspaper (AFP Photo / Simon Maina)