Two men convicted for an Al-Qaeda terror plot in Norway

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 5:45:55 by

Two men were found guilty Monday of involvement in an al Qaeda plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, the first convictions under Norway‘s anti-terror laws. A third defendant was acquitted of terror
charges but convicted of helping the others acquire explosives.

Investigators said the plot was linked to the same al Qaeda planners behind thwarted attacks against the New York subway system and a shopping mall in Manchester, England, in 2009. The Oslo District Court sentenced Mikael Davud
to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to 3½ years.

Judge Oddmund Svarteberg said the court found that Davud, a Chinese Muslim, “planned the attack together with al Qaeda.” Bujak was deeply involved in the preparations, but it couldn’t be proved that he was aware of Davud’s contacts
with al Qaeda, the judge said.

The third defendant, David Jakobsen, who assisted police in the investigation, was convicted on an explosives charge and sentenced to four months in prison — time he’s already served in pretrial detention. It wasn’t immediately
clear if any of the defendants would appeal.

The case was Norway‘s most high-profile terror investigation until last July, when a right-wing extremist killed 77 people in a bomb-and-shooting massacre. The three men, who were arrested in July 2010, made some admissions but
pleaded not guilty to terror-conspiracy charges and rejected any links to al Qaeda.

During the trial Davud denied he was taking orders from al Qaeda, saying he was planning a solo raid against the Chinese Embassy in Oslo. He said he wanted revenge for Beijing’s oppression of Uighurs, a Muslim minority in western
China.

Prosecutors said the Norwegian cell first wanted to attack the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, in which 12 cartoons of Muhammad sparked furious protests in Muslim countries in 2006, and then changed plans to seek to murder one
of the cartoonists instead. Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd, said the paper and the cartoonist were indeed the targets, but he described the plans as “just talk.”

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