Anti-Mohammad cartoonist target of Copenhagan terror attack?
Sweedish cartoonist Lars Vilk, whose caricatures of Mohammad enraged al-Qaeda and Muslims around the world, was speaking at the free speech conference when a terrorist opened fire outside the cafe where the event was being held.
An increased police presence kept the gunman from making his way inside the cafe, likely saving many lives. But considering there had been at least two other plots to kill Vilks since he published his cartoons in 2007, it is probable that he was the target of the attack.
Late last night, Danish police confronted a man who matched the description of the terrorist, who also shot up a synagogue, killing a Jewish guard and wounding 3 policemen, and killed him in firefight.
The Guardian has some background on Vilks:
The cafe in northern Copenhagen, known for its jazz concerts, was hosting an event titled “Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression” when the shots were fired.
The meeting was also being held to mark the anniversary of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie issued by Islamic fundamentalists after he wrote The Satanic Verses.
Vilks, 68, outraged many Muslims in 2007 after he depicted the prophet Muhammad’s head on the body of a dog.
In September that year, Vilks had a $100,000 bounty placed on his head by an al-Qaida faction in Iraq in response to his drawings.
In 2010 Swedish newspapers reprinted the controversial cartoon after two Muslim men were arrested and subsequently charged in the Irish Republic in connection with an alleged plot to murder Vilks.
Since then he has received numerous death threats and has lived under constant police protection.
Two years ago, an American woman who called herself Jihad Jane was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to kill him.
The Lars Vilks committee gave its freedom prize to the Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, in October 2014 – three months before the terrorist attack on its Paris office.
Gerard Biard, the magazine’s editor-in chief, who received the prize in Copenhagen, survived the attack as he was in London on 7 January.
After the Charlie Hebdo attack, Vilks said that even fewer organisations were inviting him to give lectures over increased security concerns.
He also thought that Sweden’s SAPO security service, which deploys bodyguards to protect him, would step up the security around him.
“This will create fear among people on a whole different level than we’re used to,” he said. “Charlie Hebdo was a small oasis. Not many dared do what they did.”
In 2013, Al-Qaeda published a "Most Wanted" list and Vilks was prominently mentioned, along with Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, who was killed in the Paris attacks. It would appear that AQ is looking to settle old scores against its most hated enemies. Also on that AQ list is Geert Wilders, and three cartoonists from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, who published several irreverent depictions of Mohammad in 2006.
A Muslim fanatic posted two tweets that tell us how much danger those men are in (via Bridgett Johnson):
The only punishment for Blasphemer is murder.— Bushra Qasim Khan (@BQ_Khan) February 14, 2015
Every blasphemer will be eliminated from this planet.— Bushra Qasim Khan (@BQ_Khan) February 14, 2015
Good thing Islam is a religion of peace. Otherwise, we might take the lady at her word.