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Jyllands-Posten terror plot trial set to begin
Four men charged with terrorism and illegal weapons possession in connection with an attempted attack in retaliation for the 2005 publication of the Mohammed drawings are set to get underway tomorrow.
The police believe that the four suspects, three Swedish citizens and one Tunisian, had plotted to storm Jyllands-Posten's Copenhagen office with assault weapons “killing as many as possible” much akin to the 2008 attack that killed 166 people in Mumbai.
In addition to the plot against the newspaper's central Copenhagen office, which it shares with Politiken newspaper, the foursome had also planned other separate acts to terrorise the population at large.
When the group was arrested outside Copenhagen in December 2010, they were in possession of an assault rifle, ammunition, a silencer and plastic strips which investigators believe were to be used in a New Year's Day attack.
Standing trial will be Munir Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti, who are all Swedish nationals, and Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, who is Tunisian.
Jyllands-Posten has been the target of Islamic-inspired terror ever since it published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005, drawing the ire of Muslims around the world.
After the Danish government refused to apologise for the drawings, Muslim countries responded by boycotting Danish products. But there were other ramifications that were more ominous.
One of the illustrators, Kurt Vestergaard, who drew the image of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, was attacked in his home and several other terror plots against the newspaper have also reportedly been foiled by domestic intelligence agency PET.
Just last June, a Chechen man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after a letter bomb designated for Jyllands-Posten prematurely went off in the toilet of the Copenhagen hotel where he was staying.
The four men, who all reside in Sweden, may face life sentences and the trial is slated for a decision in mid-June. They have pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.