Danish Cartoonist Attacked
Westergaard came to international attention over controversy with his political cartoon depiction of Muhammad wearing a bomb as a turban with a lit fuse. Westergaard said he wanted his cartoon to say that some people exploited the prophet to legitimize terrorism. However, many in the Muslim world interpreted the drawing as depicting their prophet as a terrorist.
The depiction sparked an uproar among Muslims in early 2006 after newspapers reprinted the images months later as a matter of free speech. The cartoon was first published by the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten in September 2005.
Since that depiction there have been numerous attempts and threats on his life from Muslim extremists and Danish police have arrested numerous individuals. After three arrests in 2008, Westergaard had this to say:
Of course I fear for my life after the Danish Security and Intelligence Service informed me of the concrete plans of certain people to kill me. However, I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness.
Police were alerted to the incident where they confronted the suspect having to shoot him in the leg and hand. He appeared in court Saturday charged with attempted assassination of both the cartoonist and a police officer. Authorities said he was a 28-year-old Somali who has legal residency in Denmark and lives in Sjaelland, near Copenhagenuthorities said he was a 28-year-old Somali who has legal residency in Denmark and lives in Sjaelland, near Copenhagen but would not identify the subject. Some reports claim he has ties with an Al-Qaeda affiliated group.