November 23, 2007 / 6:59 PM / in 11 years

Danes, Iraqi Kurd jailed for plotting bomb attack

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish court handed down jail sentences of four to 11 years on Friday to two Danish Muslims and an Iraqi Kurd for planning a bomb attack in Denmark.

The Copenhagen court acquitted a fourth man.

The men were accused of planning to bomb Copenhagen’s City Hall Square or the Tivoli amusement park to protest against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that were published in a Danish newspaper in 2005, and the presence of Danish soldiers in Iraq.

A panel of three judges sentenced Mohammad Zaher, 34, a Dane of Palestinian origin, and Ahmad Khaldhahi, 22, an Iraqi Kurd, to 11 years’ jail. Abdallah Andersen, 32, a Danish convert to Islam, was sentenced to four years while Riad Amwar Daabas, 19, a Dane of Palestinian descent, was acquitted.

“You all think I’m a bad person but you do not know me,” Zaher told the court before sentencing. “I am a simple man. Honestly, I do not want to harm the Danes.”

The four were among nine people arrested last year in Odense, central Denmark, for collecting bomb-making materials. Four were charged under anti-terrorism laws, while the others were released without being charged.

Prosecutors produced analyses of chemicals found at the men’s homes last year as well as wire taps and manuals for bomb-making found on their computers.

Prosecutors also presented testimony from an informer who infiltrated the group and reported on their activities to Denmark’s Security Intelligence Service.

“We are very satisfied with the verdict. They tried to commit the most severe kind of terrorism,” prosecutor Charlotte Alsing Juul told reporters.

The same court sentenced a Danish Muslim to seven years’ prison in February for planning an attack in Europe, but acquitted three others.

In September, police arrested eight Muslims, six of them Danes, in Copenhagen on suspicion of plotting a bomb attack and having links with al Qaeda. Two were remanded in custody, but none has yet been charged.

Reporting by Martin Burlund, writing by Gelu Sulugiuc; editing by Tim Pearce

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