News / Europe

Somali Man Tried for Muhammad Cartoon Attack

A man who allegedly assaulted Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is carried into court on a stretcher in Aarhus, Denmark (file photo – 02 Jan 2010)
A man who allegedly assaulted Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is carried into court on a stretcher in Aarhus, Denmark (file photo – 02 Jan 2010)

Multimedia

Audio

A Somali man accused of trying to kill a Danish cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad has gone on trial Wednesday in Denmark. Danish intelligence police say they believe he is close to the Islamist movement al-Shabaab.

The prosecutor in the case, Kirsten Dyrman, spoke outside the court on Wednesday.

She said the defendant is accused of an attempted terror attack and attempted murder.

The defendant, 29-year-old Mohamed Geele, allegedly broke into the house of a Danish cartoonist in January last year.

The cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, drew caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, which sparked protests around the world.

Prosecutors say Geele broke into Westergaard's home carrying an axe. Westergaard locked himself in a panic room and was unharmed.

The defendant admits breaking into the house, carrying a weapon but says his aim was only to frighten Westergaard, not to kill him.

Danish investigators say they believe Geele has ties to the Somali-based militia group al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaida.

Anoush Ehteshami is from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Arab world at Britain’s Durham University.

He says Al-Shabaab may be spreading its reach beyond East Africa.

"It has expressed disdain for western and U.N. values in Somalia, in Africa, and in the Muslim world but has very lately, very lately, began to articulate a position more consistent with al-Qaida's world view of confronting the West on its own territory and on its own terms," Ehteshami said.

But he says he doesn’t believe the militia is powerful enough to organize a major attack in the West.

"I don't think myself that it has the sustainable basis for carrying organized violence against western targets in Europe and in other western countries,” he added. “But nevertheless given that individuals mobilized and indoctrinated by al-Shabaab can inflict or try to inflict harm is a serious concern."

Ehteshami says the cartoons published half a decade ago will continue to stir resentment. Last month European authorities arrested five people suspected of planning an attack on the Danish newspaper that originally published the controversial images.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid