Belfast Telegraph

Home News

Police release three held over cartoonist 'death plot'

Three of seven Muslims detained in the Republic over a suspected plot to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist were last night released from custody.

Gardai confirmed a man and two women were freed after three and a half days of questioning.

A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions, they said.

Three men and one woman remain in garda custody in the south east of the country over an alleged international conspiracy to murder Lars Vilks, who controversially depicted the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.

Anti-terrorist units carried out a series of raids on Tuesday morning over a plot allegedly masterminded by a self-styled "Jihad Jane".

Those arrested included a Libyan couple and a Palestinian woman - who were earlier freed - a second Libyan man, one Algerian man, a woman from the US and a Croatian man.

Mr Vilks, whose cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog were printed in the Swedish Nerikes Allehanda newspaper in August 2007, has been under threat of death from Iraqi members of the Islamic terrorist group al Qaida.

They put a $100,000 US dollar bounty on the cartoonist's head, forcing him into police protection in an isolated area of Sweden.

US caretaker Colleen LaRose, who styled herself Jihad Jane in a YouTube video, was charged with plotting his murder bid.

The suspect was accused in the US on Tuesday of conspiring with jihadist fighters and pledging to commit murder in the name of a Muslim holy war, or jihad.

According to the US Justice Department, the 46-year-old, who also goes by the name Fatima LaRose, plotted with five others in South Asia, Eastern and Western Europe and the US to recruit men on the internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe.

They are also accused of recruiting women online to travel to and around Europe supporting violent jihad.

It is understood LaRose agreed to marry an online contact from South Asia so he could move to Europe.

US prosecutors said she was ordered to kill Mr Vilks in a way which would frighten "the whole Kufar (non-believer) world".

If convicted of the charges against her, LaRose faces a potential sentence of life in prison and a one million dollar fine.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph