Somali denies Danish attack

2011-01-19 20:06

Copenhagen - A Somali man who axed his way into the home of a Danish cartoonist said on Wednesday he only wanted to scare Kurt Westergaard for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad.

The 29-year-old defendant, who cannot be named under a court order, pleaded not guilty to a terrorism charge stemming from the intrusion on New Year's Day 2010.

He was also charged with attempted murder for throwing the axe at police when they confronted him.

Westergaard locked himself inside a panic room and was unharmed in the attack.

Prosecutor Kirsten Dyrman told the court in Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, that the defendant intended to kill Westergaard when he broke into the house.

The crime should be viewed as terrorism because it was meant to "seriously frighten the population" and destabilise Denmark, Dyrman said.

The defendant told a packed court room that the axe was not intended for Westergaard but only to get into his home because he didn't expect that the cartoonist would let him in.

Westergaard's drawing was one of 12 cartoons of Muhammad published by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005, triggering a fire storm of protests across the Muslim world four months later.

Devout Muslim

The defendant, who described himself as a "devout Muslim," said he decided to break into Westergaard's home after reading on the internet that the 75-year-old Dane "was proud of the drawing and wanted to do more".

He thought that "if I threaten and scare him, maybe he will behave better in the future".

The defendant, wearing jeans and a blue sweater and sporting a goatee, said he had no intention to hurt Westergaard, who is expected to testify on Thursday.

The Somali has a residence permit in Denmark where he has lived since 1996.

The prosecutor said the Danish intelligence agency started monitoring him by mid-2009 because of his frequent trips to Somalia where he claimed he was involved in "humanitarian aid projects".

After the attack, the agency said he had links with the Somali militant group al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda leaders in eastern Africa. A spokesperson in Somalia for al-Shabaab denied the man is a member of the group.

If convicted of terror, the defendant could face life in prison, although such sentences are generally reduced to 16 years under Danish law.

He was shot in the knee by police when they confronted him as he left Westergaard's home. Police say they opened fire when the man hurled the axe at an officer.

The defendant admitted using violence against the police but rejected that it amounted to attempted murder.

- AP

Read more on:    kurt westergaard  |  denmark  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Who won? Let the News24 App notify you!

Not only can you stay up to date with the latest elections news, you can also get notification of results during the results phase with our easy-to-use app.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 15:29 PM
    Road name: Roeland Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working correctly at Plein Street
  • Thursday Parow - 15:28 PM
    Road name: Frans Conradie Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Fairfield Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.