Target Centermass

9/5/2006

Danish Antiterror Police Seize 9 Men, Mostly Young Muslims

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:58 pm

Although it seems progress that the New York Times even included a mention of the suspects’ religion — you know, that peaceful one — in its headline, one must admit puzzlement at their “mostly” qualifier. Are they using it to draw a line on young or on Muslim? After all, the story that follows quickly points out the age range and religion of all the arrested men [emphasis added].

The Danish security police arrested nine suspects on Tuesday on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack after surveillance showed that several of the men had collected bomb-making material, Justice Minister Lene Espersen said.

An antiterror squad carried out a raid in Vollsmose, a poor immigrant district in Odense, at 2 a.m. The suspects appeared at a closed hearing on Tuesday, where two were released and the others were charged with plotting acts of terrorism.

No details of a plot were released. Investigators said it was too early to know how far the suspects’ plans had progressed. “With the general terror situation, the Danish Security Intelligence Service didn’t want to run any unnecessary risk,” said Lars Findsen, the service’s director general.

Ms. Espersen said that nearly all nine were Danish citizens, and that Denmark was their likely target.

“This is what is most alarming: these are Danish citizens living in Denmark that have been plotting a terror attack in Denmark,” she said. Danish intelligence officials said the men were between 18 and 35 and were Muslims who appeared to have been recently radicalized. Nearly all lived in Vollsmose, which has 10,000 residents representing more than a dozen nationalities, and has grappled with youth violence, high unemployment and difficulties integrating its large Muslim community.

Politiken, a leading Danish newspaper, reported that of the nine arrested, five are of Palestinian origin, one is of Kurdish origin, one is a Danish convert to Islam and two are natives of Iraq.

Many young Muslims here were alienated by the publication in a Danish newspaper of caricatures lampooning the Prophet Muhammad. In response, Danish embassies were set ablaze in Muslim countries and Danish goods were boycotted.

Anti-Muslim sentiment has grown, as well, with the rise of the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party, which holds 13 percent of the seats in Parliament. Its members have compared Muslims to “cancer cells.”

Imam Abu Bashar, a Muslim cleric in Odense, told The Associated Press that he feared Denmark might become a terrorist target because Osama bin Laden said he would punish the countries that have troops in Iraq.

“Denmark is on the list,” Imam Bashar said. “I am afraid of the message of Osama bin Laden, that he will do something against Denmark.”

Of course Denmark is on the target list for the radical Islamist. As a tip to the reader, the list reads as follows: the Earth.

As to the misleading headline, it may be a matter of a story evolving faster than a headline, or a case of sloppy headline writing that will soon be corrected. In any case, I elected to go ahead and grab a screen cap for kicks (click for larger version).

Mostly(?) Young Muslims

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