According to various media reports, the intention of the would-be Copenhagen Motoon mujahideen was to stage a Mumbai-style attack. They planned storm the Jyllands-Posten building and kill as many people as possible before the police took them out.
The latest reports say that only four were “Swedes”; the other was a “Dane”. The Swedish and Danish intelligence services had been following the plot for a long time, and allowed it to mature to the point where the evidence would be sufficient to guarantee convictions on terrorism charges.
Below are several news articles from various MSM sources about the foiled attack, followed by an interesting parallel story that fits right in with today’s news.
First, from the Associated Press (notice the use of the word “Prophet” in the headline):
5 Arrested in Plot to Attack Prophet Cartoon Paper
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Police in Denmark and Sweden halted an imminent terrorist attack Wednesday by arresting five men who planned to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, officials said.
Denmark’s intelligence service said that after months of surveillance it arrested four men in two raids in suburbs of the capital, Copenhagen, and seized a submachine gun, a silencer and ammunition. Swedish police said they arrested a 37-year-old Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin living in Stockholm.
“An imminent terror attack has been foiled,” said Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, or PET. He described some the suspects as “militant Islamists with relations to international terror networks” and said that more arrests were possible.
PET said it seized a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Lebanese-born man and a 30-year-old who were living in Sweden and had entered Denmark late Tuesday or early Wednesday. The fourth person detained was a 26-year-old Iraqi asylum-seeker living in Copenhagen.
Danish and Swedish police, who appeared at a joint new conference with Loekke Rasmussen in Copenhagen, said they had been tailing the suspects for several months.
Anders Danielsson, the head of Sweden’s security police, said they had followed a car rented by the suspects from Stockholm to the Danish border.
“We knew that there were weapons in the car,” he said.
Zubair Butt Hussain, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Denmark, called the plan “extremely worrying.”
The organization “absolutely condemns any act of terrorism regardless of the motives and motivations that may lie behind,” Hussain said.
The head of Sweden’s security police, Anders Danielsson, said that “it has been possible to avert a serious terror crime in Denmark through efficient and close cooperation between PET and the (Swedish) security police.”
Next, from The Local:
The head of Denmark’s PET intelligence service said that his officers had detained four men while a spokeswoman for Swedish intelligence agency Säpo said a fifth man had been arrested in Stockholm in connection with the same plot against the Copenhagen-based Jyllands-Posten daily.
Several of the suspects could be described “as militant Islamists with connections to international terror networks,” PET supremo Jakob Scharf said in a statement.
“These arrests have successfully stopped an imminent terror attack, where several of the suspects … were going to force their way into the (building which houses the Jyllands-Posten) in Copenhagen and kill as many people as possible,” he said.
The first three men all lived in Sweden and travelled to Denmark overnight to Wednesday.
According to Jyllands-Posten’s online edition, the group had travelled to Denmark in a car rented in the Stockholm suburb of Kista.
Säpo spokeswoman Katarina Sevcik said that the group arrested on Wednesday “have up to now no known connection to the events of December 11th”, and had not given Sweden cause to amend the level of terror threat.
The PET said last month that had “renewed indications that terrorist groups abroad are looking to send terrorists to Denmark to commit terrorist attacks.”
“Denmark and Danish interests are a priority terrorist targets,” the agency said at the time.
The agency had left the level of terror threat unchanged, but stressed “there is still a serious terror threat against Denmark.”
A slightly different version from The Daily Mail:
Denmark’s PET security police said the suspects had planned to enter a Copenhagen office block housing several newspapers including offices of the daily Jyllands-Posten to ‘kill as many as possible of those around’.
‘On the basis of the investigation, it is the PET’s assessment that the detainees were preparing a terror attack against a newspaper, which according to the PET’s information was Jyllands-Posten,’ it said.
‘It is likewise the PET’s view that the attack was due to be carried out in the coming days.’
The Danish justice minister said those detained had a ‘militant Islamic background’ and called the plan the most serious such attempt in Denmark so far.
SAPO said police were investigating whether any of the latest suspects was preparing attacks in Sweden.
The final article has nothing directly to do with the terror plot or today’s arrests.
In an interesting twist, Islam In Europe reports on a WikiLeaks cable whose release just happens to coincide with the news about the latest terror plot against Denmark. It seems that the U.S. government twisted Denmark’s arm just a bit to try to keep Jyllands-Posten from republishing the Motoons:
WikiLeaks: US Embassy Pressured Danish Paper Not to Reprint Mohammed Cartoons
Norwegian paper Aftenposten recently started going through the entire Wikileaks archive. Its recent finding (EN): the US Embassy in Copenhagen was very concerned when it heard Jyllands-Posten intended to reprint the cartoons a year after its first publishing:
Post’s public affairs counselor learned from a “Jyllands-Posten” journalist (strictly protect) last week that the paper was considering several options to commemorate the cartoons’ first anniversary September 30, including re-publishing the original cartoons or running new ones on the subject.
The American ambassador, James P. Cain, turned to the Danish government, who refused to interfere. So he called Jyllands-Posten directly:
With that, the Ambassador telephoned “Jyllands-Posten” editor-in-chief Carsten Juste, and asked straight out about his paper’s intentions for commemorating the anniversary. Juste told the Ambassador that he and his team had been considering re-publication, but concluded that such a move would be unwise, especially so soon after the controversy caused by the Pope’s Regensburg remarks. The Ambassador welcomed this news, noting that none of us wanted a repeat of the crisis earlier this year.
The Ambassador’s conclusion: The Danes give their newspapers too much freedom…
Hat tips: Freedom Fighter (The Local), KGS (AP story), Gaia (The Daily Mail), and Esther .