Attempted assassination of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard

02.01.2010





A 28-year-old Somali man with a residence permit in Denmark was arrested this evening when, armed with an axe and a knife, he forced his way into the house of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard...

A 28-year-old Somali man with a residence permit in Denmark was arrested this evening when, armed with an axe and a knife, he forced his way into the house of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in Aarhus, Denmark. In connection with the arrest, the police fired shots at the perpetrator, wounding him in the knee and the hand.

The arrested person will be charged with attempted murder of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and a police officer on duty.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) believes that the attempted assassination of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is terror-related. According to PET's information, the arrested person has close relations to the Somali terror organisation al-Shabaab and al-Qaida leaders in East Africa, and he is also suspected of having been involved in terror-related activities during his stay in East Africa. In addition, the arrested person has been part of a terror-related network with connection to Denmark. For some time, this network has been subject to PET investigation without, however, this having any relation to the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

In connection with the arrest, Director General of PET, Jakob Scharf states:

"PET views this matter very seriously. It once again confirms the existing terror threat against Denmark and particularly towards the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. The security measures that have been taken to protect Kurt Westergaard have proved efficient, and on this background, it was possible to prevent the assault on Kurt Westergaard. This specific case emphasizes the importance of supplementing PET's continuous surveillance and investigation of terror-related networks with efficient security measures in relation to potential terrorist targets".