Danish court finds 4 guilty of terrorism
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Four men who planned a shooting spree at the office of a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the prophet Muhammed were found guilty of terrorism Monday.
The men, Swedish residents of North African and Mideast origin, were arrested in late December 2010 just hours before authorities say they planned to carry out a violent attack on the Jyllands-Posten's offices in Copenhagen.
Sentencing is expected later in the day, and the men could face about 16 years in prison.
Munir Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri and Sabhi Ben Mohamed Zalouti had been under surveillance by Swedish and Danish intelligence agencies at the time but denied the charges during the trial. The four gave conflicting explanations about the purpose of their journey, which included New Year celebrations in the Danish capital and travel in Sweden.
Surveillance recordings played during the trial showed the four men meeting in Stockholm and discussing martyrdom, the Jyllands-Posten newspaper and how they should kill as many people as possible inside the building housing the paper and take one hostage. The recordings also revealed them discussing what to do about women and children, whose lives they were apparently going to spare.
At a prayer service in Denmark before their arrest, the men were heard on a surveillance tape saying "when you meet the infidels, cut their throats."
During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence suggesting that Aboelazm, 32, was arrested in Somalia and Pakistan in 2007 and 2009 on suspicion of terrorist activities, but he was never charged and eventually released.
Denmark has been in the crosshairs of Islamist terror groups since the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, an act that offended many Muslims and sparked demonstrations and rioting in many Muslim countries.
Posted on 06/04/2012 6:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax