Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested several people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked an uproar in the Muslim world two years ago.
The arrests were made in pre-dawn raids in Aarhus, western Denmark, "to prevent a terror-related murder," the police intelligence agency said. It did not say how many people were arrested nor did it mention which cartoonist was targeted.
However, according to Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the drawings on Sept. 30, 2005, the suspects were planning to kill its cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
"There were very concrete murder plans against Kurt Westergaard," said Carsten Juste, the paper's editor-in-chief.
The cartoons were later reprinted by a range of Western publications, and they sparked deadly protests in parts of the Muslim world.
Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.
Westergaard and his 66-year-old wife Gitte had been living under police protection because of the murder plans, Jyllands-Posten reported. It said those arrested included both Danish and foreign citizens.