1 suspect in Denmark terror case released, 3 held

Iraqi asyulum seeker was accused of plotting to shoot offices of a newspaper that published a Muhammad cartoon.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 30, 2010 15:03
2 minute read.
Danish police officers stand guard

denmark terror 311. (photo credit: AP)

An Iraqi asylum seeker accused of plotting a shooting attack on the Copenhagen office of a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was freed Thursday due to an apparent lack of evidence.

Three other men were ordered to remain in custody.

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A Danish intelligence official told The Associated Press that the Iraqi man arrested in Denmark remains a suspect. The official gave no other details and spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The group had been planning a shooting spree in the building where the Jyllands-Posten newspaper has its Copenhagen newsdesk, Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service Scharf said Wednesday. He described some of the suspects as "militant Islamists with relations to international terror networks." He said more arrests were possible.

Scharf said the assault was to have been carried out sometime before this weekend, and could have been similar to the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, that left 166 people dead.

"It is our assessment that the plan was to try to get access" to the newspaper office and "carry out a Mumbai-style attack," Scharf told reporters.



Under a court order, none of the suspects held in Denmark can be named. The Iraqi suspect's younger brother said he had been released and was at home with his parents.

"My brother is innocent. He is being called a terrorist because he is a devout Muslim," Farooq Muhammed Salman told the AP. "I know that my brother has nothing to do with this."

Salman said that his older brother, who suffers from various ailments, rarely leaves the apartment where he lives with his parents.

The three being held are residents of Sweden who arrived in Denmark late Tuesday or early Wednesday, police said. Police followed their car and later arrested them as they left an apartment in a Copenhagen suburb on Wednesday.

The Wednesday arrests brought renewed attention to simmering anger at the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which has been the target of several attacks and threats since publishing cartoons of Muhammad in 2005, in what it called a challenge to perceived self-censorship.


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