Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- A Somali man with ties to al-Qaeda was shot as he broke into the home of Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who depicted Islam’s prophet Mohammed, in a “terror-related” act, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service said.
Police shot the 28-year-old and wounded him in the knee and hand as he entered the cartoonist’s Aarhus home armed with a knife and a hatchet yesterday, the service said in a statement on its Web site. He was then arrested and charged with attempted murder, the statement said.
Westergaard, 74, drew one of 12 cartoons of the prophet Mohammed published in 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands- Posten. His drawing depicted the prophet with a bomb in his turban. The cartoons sparked riots in several Muslim countries that ended with the deaths of more than 50 people.
Danish authorities did not release the name of the Somali, who they said had a residence permit in Denmark. The security service said he had close ties with the Somali terrorist organization al-Shabaab and with al-Qaeda leaders in East Africa.
“This confirms once again the terrorist threat directed against Denmark and against cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in particular,” said Jakob Scharf, the security service chief. “The security measures introduced to protect Kurt Westergaard have proven effective.”
Jyllands-Posten cited Westergaard as saying that he sought shelter in a bathroom modified into a safe room.
In 2008, three other men were arrested for plotting to kill Westergaard.