In Danish cartoon madness news (yes, the nutters are still pissed about them), three people were arrested today by the Danish security services on conspiracy charges. The Guardian reports:
Three people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to kill a cartoonist who drew a caricature of the prophet Muhammad, Danish police said today. Two Tunisians and one Dane of Moroccan origin were arrested in an early morning raid in Aarhus, in the west of the country. Earlier reports said five suspects had been detained. Police officials said they made the arrests to "prevent a terror-related murder" after a long period of surveillance, but did not say which cartoonist had been targeted.
The cartoonist, according to Danish sources, is Kurt Westergaard, illustrator of the famous bomb-in-turban drawing of the Muslim prophet.
Some further info from the Danish press: When contacted by Jyllands-Posten, Muslim parliamentarian and founder of the Denmark's "Democratic Muslim" movement, Nasar Khader, said he was "deeply shocked" by the arrests. "I know the illustrators. We were on the same side during the Mohammad conflict…" As Flemming Rose pointed out, Khader was one of the great heroes in the showdown with those who demanded government intervention to assuage the sensitivities of Denmark's Muslim population. Surprisingly, no English-language outlet has mentioned that Berligske Tidende, the country's second-largest circulating broadsheet and a paper that has thus far refused to publish the cartoons, has decided to print Westergaard's drawing "in solidarity." JP reports: "For the first time, Berligske Tidende is publishing Kurt Westergaard's cartoons of Mohammad with a bomb in his turban. Politiken too has reprinted the cartoon."
Westergaard sent a justifiably irritated statement to the paper: "…I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness. I have attended to my work and I still do. I could not possibly know for how long I have to live under police protection; I think, however, that the impact of the insane response to my cartoon will last for the rest of my life. It is sad indeed, but it has become a fact of my life. "