Danish police shoot 'terrorist' trying to enter Mohammed cartoonist's home
Rebecca Lefort – Telegraph.co.uk January 2, 2010
The man, 28, who was armed with an axe and a knife, went to the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time on Friday, police said.
Police shot him in the leg and arm and he was arrested. He is expected to recover.
Mr Westergaard, 74, was commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago, including one which depicted the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.
He has received several death threats since the cartoon was published, but had spoken recently about trying to live as normal a life as possible at his home in Viby near the western city of Aarhus.
Mr Westergaard was there with a five-year-old granddaughter when the attacker tried to get in.
"I locked myself in our safe room. He tried to smash the entrance door with an axe," he said.
He said that the assailant shouted "revenge" and "blood" as he tried to enter the bathroom where Mr Westergaard and the child had sought shelter.
"My grandchild did fine," he said. "It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it."
Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an axe at a police officer. One officer then shot the man in a knee and a hand, authorities said. Nielsen said the suspect was admitted to hospital but his life was not in danger.
Mr Westergaard was said to be "quite shocked" but was not injured.
Jakob Scharf, who heads the Danish intelligence service, PET, said the attack was "terror related".
"The arrested man has according to PET's information close relations to the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaida leaders in eastern Africa," he added.
An umbrella organisation for moderate Muslims in Denmark condemned the attack.
"The Danish Muslim Union strongly distances itself from the attack and any kind of extremism that leads to such acts," the group said in a statement.
Denmark's cartoon crisis began in September 2005 when the Jyllands-Posten cultural editor Flemming Rose commissioned the satirical drawings as part of a discussion on free speech.
The cartoons inflamed anti-Danish and anti-Western sentiment among Muslims across the world.
In January 2006, after both the newspaper and the Danish government refused Muslim demands for an apology, a wave of violence ensued during which several Danish embassies were set alight, a boycott of Danish goods was encouraged across the Muslim world and violent anti-Danish demonstrations were held, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Several demonstrators were killed in separate incidents as security forces sought to control the protests.
In the past several people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting Westergaard's murder, Danish police have since offered protection to everyone in the country called Kurt Westergaard.
Last updated 04/01/2010