The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Somali Charged in Attack on Danish Cartoonist whose Work Ignited Riots
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, sits in the offices of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. AP Photo/Polfoto.

By: Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press Writer

COPENHAGEN (AP).- A Somali man was charged Saturday with two counts of attempted murder for an attack on a Danish artist whose 2005 cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad ignited riots and outrage across the Muslim world, authorities said.

The 28-year-old Somali — who had ties to al-Qaida — broke into Kurt Westergaard's home in Aarhus on Friday night armed with an ax and a knife, said Jakob Scharf, head of Denmark's PET intelligence agency.

The 75-year-old artist, who has been the target of several death threats since depicting the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, pressed an alarm and fled with his 5-year-old granddaughter to a specially made safe room.

Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, but then shot him in the hand and knee when he threatened them with the ax, said Preben Nielsen of the Aarhus police.

Nielsen said the man's wounds were serious but not life-threatening, and Westergaard was "quite shocked" by the attack but was not injured.

The Somali man denied the charges at a court hearing Saturday in Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Copenhagen. Accompanied by a lawyer, he was wheeled into the court on a stretcher from the hospital where he was being treated.

Chief Superintendent Ole Madsen in Aarhus said the man was charged with two counts of attempted murder: one on Westergaard and one on a police officer. The court also banned publication of the man's name.

"He will be in custody for four weeks, and in isolation for two," Madsen said, adding that the Somali would be moved to the Vestre Faengsel prison in Aarhus, which has medical facilities.

His defense lawyer, Niels Christian Strauss, told reporters outside the court he had urged his client to remain silent during the hearing to give him more time to examine the evidence.

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

The drawings triggered riots and protests in the Muslim world, and Danish and other Western embassies in several Muslim countries were torched a few months later in 2006 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.

The Somali man had won an asylum case and received a residency permit to stay in Denmark, Scharf said, declaring the Friday attack "terror related."

"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."

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 site. "It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it."

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 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.

An umbrella organization for moderate Muslims in Denmark condemned the Friday 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.



Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.


Aarhus | Kurt Westergaard | Jakob Scharf | Preben Nielsen | Niels Christian Strauss | Danish Muslim Union |


Today's News

January 3, 2010

Bucerius Kunst Forum to Show Masterpieces of Trompe-l'oeil

Holdout Hopes Dim as NYC Arena Project Moves Ahead

Robert Miller Gallery to Present Project by Patti Smith and Steven Sebring

The CCA Presents Groundbreaking and Experimental Films

New Exhibition Hall Devoted to Human Origins to Open at Smithsonian

Somali Charged in Attack on Danish Cartoonist whose Work Ignited Riots

Recent Work by Mitch Dobrowner to Open at Kopeikin Gallery

Astrid Svangren Exhibits Her Works at the Opening of the Moderna Museet in Malmo

Turner Contemporary Exhibits Poetic Artworks by Katie Paterson

Concept of "Desire" to be Explored by Group of Contemporary Artists

Plains Indian Artists Tell 19th-Century Stories through 'Ledger Drawings'

Argos Center for Art & Media Announces Exhibition by Video Artist James Lee Byars

Josh Faught "While the Light Lasts" to Open at Lisa Cooley

Works by Picasso, Rousseau Among Others Stolen from Private Villa in the South of France

Two Independently Organized Exhibitions at Yale School of Architecture Gallery

Ben Uri Acquires Lost 1945 Masterpiece of Chagall's War Time Oeuvre

Frye Art Museum Announces Seattle Project: a Series of Collaborative Exhibitions

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Scientists at Germany's Karl May Museum weigh returning Native American scalp

2.- Totally Thames launches Florentijn Hofman's first ever UK commission: HippopoThames

3.- Restoring Albrecht Dürer's masterpiece The Arch of Honour of Maximilian I

4.- German Consulate in New York presents the work of forgotten 20th century master painter

5.- Cave carving in Gibraltar may be first known example of Neanderthal rock art

6.- Monet discovered in suitcase taken into German hospital by 'Nazi art' hoarder

7.- Gustav Klimt's 'Portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer II' on view at the Museum of Modern Art

8.- Dreadnoughtus: Meet Argentina's supermassive, 85 feet from nose to tail, 'fear nought' dino

9.- Monet's 'Impressionism' birth dated by Texas State University's 'Celestial Sleuth'

10.- 'Chess' man star attraction at tattoo convention in Peru



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site