Seven arrested over plot to kill Swedish cartoonist


Irish police have arrested seven people on Tuesday, suspected of plotting to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had drawn the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.The four men and three women, all Muslims in their mid 20s to late 40s, were arrested in the southern towns of Cork and Waterford after an international operation.


"The operation...is part of an investigation into a conspiracy to commit a serious offence," said a statement from Ireland's national police serivce, referring to conspiracy to commit murder.

Vilks had a 100,000-dollar [74,000-euro] price on his head from an Al-Qaeda-linked group, but offered a 150,000-dollar prize for slitting his throat. Killing the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda's editor-in-chief Ulf Johannson would have netted a 50,000-dollar reward.

The Irish police said that they had arrested the seven with the cooperation of the United States and various European law enforcement agencies.

Nerikes Allehanda published the dog cartoon in August 2007 to illustrate an editorial on freedom of expression and religion.

A strict interpretation of Islam forbids the Prophet Mohammed to be shown in any form.

Cartoons published in a Danish paper triggered violence and riots in several Muslim countries in 2006.


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