A Danish court has found four men guilty for planning an attack on a Copenhagen newspaper for its publication of satirical cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005.
The four were Muslim residents in Sweden and were arrested in December 2010, just days before the attack was planned. They had been under surveillance by Swedish and Danish intelligence agencies.
The men have pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and each face a potential 16-year jail sentence. One of them had pleaded guilty to the possession of illegal weapons.
A machine gun, a pistol and ammunition were found in the men’s possession when they were taken into custody.
Danish police had said the attack on the Copenhagen offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper was planned “to kill as many as possible.”
The Copenhagen newspaper was the first to publish political cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed. One of the cartoons showed him wearing a bomb as a turban.
The publication was greeted with international furor, sparking riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
There have been a string of incidents relating to the cartoons since their publication. Two Danish brothers of Somali origin were arrested last week, suspected of plotting an attack that police believe was inspired by the cartoons.
In addition, a Somali man was sentenced to ten years in prison after he attempted to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard with an axe in 2010.