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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid