Two Chicago men have been arrested for allegedly plotting to kill a Danish newspaper’s cartoonist and cultural editor for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad back in 2005.
FBI agents arrested David Headley en route to Pakistan earlier this month, and the Chicago Sun-Times reports that he held an additional airline reservation – to Copenhagen.
Headley’s friend, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who shared an extreme hatred for cartoons that depicted the prophet Mohammed, arranged for the flight, authorities said.
More from the New York Times:
The FBI said they regarded the case as significant because Mr. Headley traveled to Pakistan and consulted closely with three Pakistani men identified in an F.B.I. affidavit as members of Harakat-ul Jihad Islami, a terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, with whom he referred to the plot as the “Mickey Mouse Project.”
12 cartoons were published back in 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten as a way to fight against self-censorship in Europe due to violent threats from groups from the Muslim minority.
The most controversial of the 12 cartoons depicted Mohammed wearing a bomb with a lit fuse as a turban. That cartoon was drawn by Kurt Westergaard, 78, who along with cultural editor Flemming Rose, were targeted for assassination, authorities said.
There have been numerous flair-ups since the cartoons original publication, including a February 2008 incident where Danish police arrested three men suspected of planning to assassinate Westergaard, who has remained under police protection.
Back in August, officials at Yale University Press removed reproductions of the 12 cartoons from their book, “The Cartoons that Shook the World,” drawing criticism that Yale was giving in to intimidation.