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Posted at 09:47 PM ET, 01/01/2010

Danish cartoonist who caricatured Muhammad faces alleged armed intruder

The Danish Muhammad-cartoon controversy remains as potentially lethal as ever.

A Somali man allegedly tried to break into the Aarhus residence of Danish political cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who has faced death threats for his illustrations of the Muslim prophet, various news organizations are reporting. Police said an unidentified man was shot after wielding a knife and an ax at the cartoonist's home.

(UPDATE: Danish law-enforcement intelligence said Saturday that the "attempted assassination is...terror-related" and that they believe the Somali man has ties to al-Qaeda, Reuters reported. The man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.)

Police reportedly shot the man in the left hand and right leg; he was hospitalized but not seriously injured, authorities said.

In 2005, Westergaard caricatured Muhammad wearing a lighted bomb as a turban; the cartoon was for the publication Morgenavisen Jullands Posten. The caricature prompted controversy in the Muslim world in 2006, when the cartoon was reprinted in numerous newspapers.

In 2008, Westergaard, 74, said he feared for his life after Danish authorities arrested several people believed to be planning to kill the cartoonist. In this weekend's alleged attack, the cartoonist reportedly retreated to a "panic room" with his 5-year-old granddaughter.

In recent years, the Comedy Central show "South Park" has caricatured Jesus Christ but reportedly was not allowed by the network to caricature Muhammad. Last year, a book published by Yale University Press that dealt with the Danish newspaper controversy drew criticism from rights and journalism organizations for choosing not to reprint any of the Muhammad cartoons that sparked the uproar..

By  |  09:47 PM ET, 01/01/2010

Categories:  General | Tags:  Kurt Westergaard

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