Danish police shoot intruder at cartoonist’s home
Kurt Westergaard has had a price on his head since 2006
Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row.
Mr Westergaard was at home in Aarhus when a man broke in and threatened him. He pressed a panic button and police entered the house and shot the man.
Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia.
The cartoon, printed in 2005, prompted violent protests the following year.
One of 12 cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, it depicted the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
In 2006 the paper apologised for the cartoons, but other European media reprinted them.
Danish embassies were then attacked by Muslims around the world and dozens killed in riots.
Mr Westergaard went into hiding amid threats to his life, but emerged last year saying he wanted to live as normal a life as possible.
His house has been heavily fortified and is under close police protection.
Mr Westergaard told Jyllands-Posten that the man had entered his house by smashing a window with a hammer and had shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill him.
The cartoons prompted anti-Danish outrage across the Muslim world
He said he had grabbed his five-year-old granddaughter and run to a specially designed panic room where he raised the alarm.
Mr Westergaard told the newspaper he was shocked that his granddaughter had witnessed the attack.
He has now been taken to a safe location, but said defiantly that he would be back, the newspaper reported.
Jakob Scharf, who heads the Danish intelligence service Pet, said the attack was “terror related” and that the suspected assailant has close contacts to Somalia’s al-Shabab group.
Police said he was shot in the knee and the shoulder after threatening officers who tried to arrest him. Preben Nielsen of Aarhus police, said the man was seriously hurt but his life was not in danger.
The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant, who interviewed Mr Westergaard when he emerged from hiding, says the incident will raise questions about security measures put in place by the Danish secret service to protect the artist.
Islamic militants have placed a $1m price on Mr Westergaard’s head.
Although he is one of 12 cartoonists whose drawings of the Prophet were published in Jyllands-Posten, he has the highest profile, our correspondent says.