Gunfire in Denmark

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by twoclones, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. twoclones

    Tri-Cities, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    I lived in Denmark for a few years and you can believe me when I say that it is a HUGE thing for Danish cops to use their weapons.

    Gunfire ends attack on Muhammad cartoonist
    Danish police shoot armed man in ‘terror related’ case at artist’s home

    updated 7:28 a.m. PT, Sat., Jan. 2, 2010
    COPENHAGEN - A Somali man was under heavy guard at a Danish hospital Saturday after police stopped him from killing an artist whose cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad outraged the Muslim world, the country's intelligence chief said.

    Jakob Scharf, head of the PET intelligence agency, said the 28-year-old man with ties to the al-Qaida group al-Shabab broke a window and entered Kurt Westergaard's home in Aarhus on Friday night armed with an ax and a knife.

    The 75-year-old artist, who has received previous death threats for depicting the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, pressed an alarm and fled with his visiting 5-year-old granddaughter to a specially made safe room.

    Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an ax at a police officer, said Preben Nielsen of the Aarhus police. The officer then shot the man in his knee and his hand, authorities said.

    The suspect's name was not released in line with Danish privacy rules. Nielsen said he was in serious condition at a hospital but his life was not in danger.

    'Quite shocked'
    The Somali man denied the charges at a court hearing Saturday in Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, northwest of Copenhagen. Accompanied by a lawyer, he was wheeled into the court on a stretcher from the hospital where he was being treated.

    Westergaard was "quite shocked" but was not injured, Nielsen said.

    The attack on the artist, whose rendering was among 12 cartoons that led to the torching of Danish diplomatic offices in predominantly Muslim countries in 2006, was "terror related," Scharf said.

    "The arrested man has, according to PET's information, close relations to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab and al-Qaida leaders in eastern Africa," Scharf said. "(The attack) again confirms the terror threat that is directed at Denmark and against the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in particular."

    The Somali man had won an asylum case and received a residency permit to stay in Denmark. Scharf said the man is suspected of having been involved in terror-related activities in east Africa and had been under PET's surveillance but not in connection with Westergaard.

    Westergaard could not be reached for comment. However, he told his employer, the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, that the assailant shouted "Revenge!" and "Blood!" as he tried to enter the bathroom where Westergaard and the child had sought shelter.

    "My grandchild did fine," Westergaard said, according to the newspaper's Web edition. "It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it."

    An umbrella organization 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.

    Westergaard remains a potential target for extremists nearly five years after he drew a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. The drawing was printed along with 11 others in Jyllands-Posten in 2005.

    The drawings triggered an uproar a few months later when Danish and other Western embassies in several Muslim countries were torched by angry protesters who felt the cartoons had profoundly insulted Islam.

    Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

    Westergaard has received previous death threats and was the subject of an alleged assassination plot.

    In October, terror charges were brought against two Chicago men who allegedly planned to kill Westergaard and newspaper's former cultural editor.

    In 2008, Danish police arrested two Tunisian men suspected of plotting to kill Westergaard. Neither suspect was prosecuted. One was deported and the other was released Monday after an immigration board rejected PET's efforts to expel him from Denmark.

    Throughout the crisis, then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen distanced himself from the cartoons but resisted calls to apologize for them, citing freedom of speech and saying his government could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's press.

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