Somali man attempts failed attack on controversial cartoonist
Saturday, January 2, 2010
An axe-wielding Somali man attempted to break into the house of controversial cartoonist Kurt Westergaard on Friday night in what the Danish Security Intelligence Service called a “terror-related” attack. According to a statement by the agency, the attacker has “close relations to the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaeda leaders in eastern Africa.” The man, whose name has yet to be released, was shot in the leg and hand after turning the axe on responding police officers. He was hospitalized but Aarhus police say that his condition is not life-threatening.
The cartoonist, 74-year-old Kurt Westergaard, published in 2005 a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse. This, and 11 other cartoons published in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, sparked the torching of Danish embassies in various Muslim countries.
Westergaard’s five-year-old granddaughter was sleeping over at his house when a man wielding an axe and knife cracked a window, apparently setting off a house alarm. Westergaard, whose life has been threatened multiple times since publication of his cartoon, had prepared a bathroom to function as a safe room. While he and his granddaughter hid there, the attacker reportedly banged on the door, shouting “revenge” and “blood”. Police arrived in less than three minutes. Neither Westergaard nor his granddaughter were injured in the incident.
The attacker is now charged with the attempted murder of Westergaard and a police officer. “My grandchild did fine,” Westergaard told the Jyllands-Posten, “It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it.”
- "Somali shot after allegedly attempting to attack Danish cartoonist" — , January 1, 2010
- "Danish police shoot intruder at cartoonist's home" — , January 2, 2010