Denmark Terrorism Suspects Plead Not Guilty

"(LATIMES)
Three men suspected of plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammad pleaded not guilty Thursday in Copenhagen to charges of attempted terrorism and illegal weapons possession, and a fourth suspect was released for lack of evidence.

A fifth man, identified by the Swedish news reports as 37-year old Sahbi Zalouti, was arraigned in a Stockholm court in connection with the alleged plot.

Danish and Swedish authorities arrested the five men, residents of Sweden and Denmark, on Wednesday as part of an investigation of a suspected plot with links to international terrorist groups.

Get dispatches from Times correspondents around the globe delivered to your inbox with our daily World newsletter. The Danish charge sheet, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, says the men were in possession of a machine-gun and a magazine containing about 36 rounds of ammunition as well as a 9 millimeter semiautomatic gun and a silencer that they intended to use in an attack on the Copenhagen offices of Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper.

It says the suspects obtained the weapons in Sweden and traveled to Denmark by car Wednesday intending to attack the newspaper's Copenhagen office and ""kill an unknown number of people.""

Scandinavian news media splashed headlines about the case and details about the suspects, including names and personal histories, across front pages and in extensive television coverage.

One suspect was described by Swedish news reports as a 29-year-old Lebanon-born Swedish national named Munir Awad who had twice been detained abroad on suspicion of terrorism.

In 2007, Awad reportedly was arrested by international peacekeepers in Somalia with his pregnant 17-year old wife, whose mother heads the Swedish Muslim Council, an advocacy group. "