Four men will each spend 12 years in jail for plotting an attack against a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, a court ruled today.
Swedish and Danish security forces trailed the men for months before arresting them in late 2010 carrying guns, ammunition, duct tape and restraints.
The court found Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, Munir Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, and Sabhi Ben Mohamed Zalouti guilty of terrorism; they were living in Sweden when police arrested them, but were born in the Middle East or North Africa.
According to prosecutors, the men planned to overrun the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen and kill as many people as possible, The Associated Press reported.
Islamic tradition forbids anyone from creating images of Muhammed, God or other important figures from Christian or Jewish religions.
They men planned to attack during an awards ceremony featuring Crown Prince Frederik in the same building as the newspaper, CNN said.
Prosecutors said al Qaeda supported or trained the men, who wanted to carry out an attack with the same violence as Mumbai, India, where dozens were gunned down in a hotel.
The Danish newspaper’s decision to print editorial cartoons of Muhammed triggered other wide-ranging protests and failed attacks, BBC said.
One man broke into a cartoonist’s home and tried to kill him with an ax, while another attempted to bomb the newspaper office.
Danish embassies around the world were also attacked.
Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons featuring Muhammed in 2005.
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