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Three face trial over 'cartoonist attack plot'

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17:03 CEST+02:00
Three men suspected of plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper that printed controversial cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 will go on trial in Norway next month, a state prosecutor said on Tuesday.

The three suspects, who were arrested in July 2010, have been charged with "conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack in northern Europe," the prosecutor Geir Evanger told AFP.

"They are suspected of planning and preparing an attack against the newspaper Jyllands-Posten primarily as well as the caricaturist Kurt Westergaard," he said.

Westergaard, 76, drew the most controversial of the 12 cartoons, featuring the prophet with a lit fuse in his turban. He was the victim of a murder attempt last year and has received several death threats.

The three men risk prison sentences of up to 12 years, Evanger said.

According to police, the three -- Mikael Davud, a Norwegian of Uighur origin, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd residing in Norway, and David Jakobsen, an Uzbek also living in Norway -- tried to obtain components to make explosives.

Norway's intelligence agency PST also suspects them of having ties to terror network Al-Qaeda.

Mikael Davud and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak have been held in custody since their arrest and have both admitted they were planning an attack though their versions have differed on who their target was, the first saying it was the Chinese embassy in Oslo and the second claiming it was Jyllands-Posten.

The third man, David Jakobsen, has denied any responsibility and is currently a free man.

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