A 28-year-old man wielding an axe and a knife broke into Kurt Westergaard’s house overnight in an apparent attempt on the life of the Jyllands-Posten cartoonist who produced one of the controversial drawings of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.
On hearing someone breaking into his home, Westergaard rushed into a safe room in the house and raised the alarm to police as the man attempted to break into the safe room. Westergaard was unharmed in the incident.
“I got into our safe room and raised the alarm while he energetically but unsuccessfully attempted to break down the door,” Westergaard tells Ritzau.
On arrival at the scene, police officers in one vehicle were confronted with the would-be attacker who attempted to smash the window of their car with his axe and then launched his axe at an officer from another vehicle. An officer from the second vehicle fired at the man, hitting him in the hand and knee.
“The man threw an axe at one of the officers who then fired two shots at him. One shot hit his left hand and the other his right knee,” says Assistant Commissioner Bent Preben Nielsen of the Eastern Jutland Police.
The young man, whom the Danish Security and Intelligence Service says has close links to the Somali al-Shabaab organisation as well as ‘links to al-Qaeda leaders in East Africa’, was taken to hospital where he is in a stable condition, and is eventually to be presented in a remand hearing.
As yet unnamed, the man is described as having been born in 1981, of Somali extraction and lives on the Danish capital island of Zealand. A bag believed to belong to the man was retrieved from the scene.
Kurt Westergaard has received various death threats since producing the most controversial of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.
Most recently, two men from Chicago were arrested and charged with conspiracy, initially to attack Jyllands-Posten offices and then on conspiracy charges to cause bodily harm to Westergaard. One of the men had carried out what prosecutors claim to have been surveillance visits to Copenhagen.