Danish court convicts two of planning bomb attack

Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:21pm EDT

(Adds details, sentences)

By Kim McLaughlin

COPENHAGEN, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Two Danish Muslim men were sentenced to 12 and seven years in prison by a Copenhagen court on Tuesday for producing explosives in an apartment with the intent of carrying out a bomb attack.

Danish police arrested the men during a raid against several addresses in the Danish capital in September 2007. Six other individuals detained were subsequently released.

The court did not identify the two, but Danish media named them as Hammad Khurshid, a 22-year-old Dane of Pakistani origin and Abdoulghani Tohki, also 22, from Afghanistan.

Khurshid was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Tohki received seven years.

The jury found the two were in possession of a large amount of material "concerning terror acts of various kinds", the court said in a statement.

Tohki was also told he had to leave Denmark after his term was served.

The court said Khurshid had visited Pakistan in 2007 including two villages that are known strongholds for al Qaeda.

According to prosecutors, Khurshid attended an al Qaeda training camp in Waziristan on the border to Afghanistan.

Security experts have said Denmark is a target for militants because of its military involvement in Afghanistan and a crisis sparked in 2006 after cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad were published in a Danish newspaper.

Prosecutors said video surveillance from one of the defendants' apartments showed the two testing explosive material and that they managed to produce Acetone peroxide or TATP, a high explosive.

Prosecutors have not named the target of the planned attack.

Khurshid and Tohki had pleaded not guilty and said the explosives were to be used for fireworks.

The men faced a maximum term of life in prison, although that sentence is seldom handed down in Denmark. Khurshid immediately appealed the court's ruling. (Reporting by Kim McLaughlin)

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