May 30, 2011 / 5:07 PM / 8 years ago

Danish court finds Chechen guilty over bombing

* Copenhagen hotel bomber found guilty of terror attempt

* Chechen set off small blast in 2010, injuring only himself

* Court says target was paper that printed Mohammad cartoons

COPENHAGEN, May 31 (Reuters) - A Danish court on Monday found a 25-year-old ethnic Chechen man guilty of an attempted act of terrorism against a Danish newspaper which in 2005 printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Lors Doukaev, a Belgian citizen, was arrested after he accidentally set off a small blast at the Hotel Jorgensen in the centre of the Danish capital on Sept. 10 last year, injuring only himself.

The court found Doukaev sought to attack the offices of the daily Jyllands-Posten whose caricatures of the Prophet sparked Muslim outrage and violent protests in 2006 in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

He faces up to 12 years in jail.

The Copenhagen court said Doukaev intended to send the bomb made of acetone peroxide, also known as TATP, to Jyllands-Posten’s offices at Viby in Jutland, and that the purpose was “to frighten the Danish population seriously.”

Doukaev, who was arrested in a park after the bomb exploded, had pleaded not guilty and told the court he had the explosive for his own protection. The court said that was not credible.

The court said the bomb exploded when Doukaev was handling it in the hotel toilet after he had packed it together with steel shot into two envelopes that he meant to send to the newspaper.

Defence attorney Niels Anker Rasmussen said he would talk to his client before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.

Prosecutor Anders Riisager said on TV2 News that Doukaev had visited Copenhagen in 2008 when Jyllands-Posten’s offices were at King’s Square from where they subsequently moved.

Riisager said that change of location had surprised Doukaev so he had changed his plan and turned his explosives into a letter bomb to send to the paper’s offices in Jutland.

“We don’t know anything about anyone having controlled him,” Riisager said. “As far as the case has been built, he acted on his own.”

Several other plots against Jyllands-Posten have been discovered by police.

In December 2010, police in Denmark and Sweden arrested five people suspected of planning a shooting spree, dubbed a “Mumbai-style” attack”, at a Copenhagen building that houses Jyllands-Posten and another daily newspaper. [ID:nLDE6BS0XQ]

Those suspects, who Danish security police have said were planning an attack to “kill as many as possible” at the newspaper, remain in custody pending trial.

In February, a court found a Somali man guilty of attempted terrorism for trying to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard whose drawing of the Prophet with a bomb in his turban was one of a dozen cartoons lampooning Islam that brought death threats to him, other cartoonists, journalists and the paper. [ID:nLDE7121D9] [ID:nLDE71314V]

Reporting by John Acher and Jakob Vesterager; Editing by Matthew Jones

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