Norwegian court convicts two of plotting terror attack

 

Two men were found guilty today of involvement in an al-Qa'ida plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, the first convictions under Norway's anti-terror laws.

A third defendant was acquitted of terror charges but convicted of helping the others acquire explosives.

Investigators say the plot was linked to the same al-Qa'ida planners behind thwarted attacks against the New York subway system and a shopping mall in Manchester, England, in 2009.

The Oslo district court sentenced alleged ringleader Mikael Davud, to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to three and a half years.

Judge Oddmund Svarteberg said the court found that Davud, a Chinese Muslim, "planned the attack together with al-Qa'ida." Bujak was deeply involved in the preparations, but it couldn't be proved that he was aware of Davud's contacts with al-Qa'ida, the judge said.

The third defendant, David Jakobsen, who assisted police in the investigation, was convicted on an explosives charge and sentenced to four months in prison — time he's already served in pretrial detention.

Defense lawyers for the three told the court they would study the verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

Davud smiled and waved to photographers as he left the court. His defense lawyer, Carl Konow Rieber-Mohn, told The Associated Press later Monday that he would advise his client to appeal.

The case was Norway's most high-profile terror investigation until last July, when a right-wing extremist killed 77 people in a bomb and shooting massacre.

The three men, who were arrested in July 2010, made some admissions but pleaded innocent to terror conspiracy charges and rejected any links to al-Qa'ida.

During the trial Davud denied he was taking orders from al-Qa'ida, saying he was planning a solo raid against the Chinese Embassy in Oslo. He said he wanted revenge for Beijing's oppression of Uighurs, a Muslim minority in western China.

Davud, who moved to Norway in 1999 and later became a Norwegian citizen, also said his co-defendants helped him acquire bomb-making ingredients but didn't know he was planning an attack.

Prosecutors said the Norwegian cell first wanted to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, whose 12 cartoons of Muhammad sparked furious protests in Muslim countries in 2006, and then changed plans to seek to murder one of the cartoonists instead.

Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd, said the paper and the cartoonist were indeed the targets, but described the plans as "just talk."

Prosecutors had to prove the defendants worked together in a conspiracy, because a single individual plotting an attack is not covered under Norway's anti-terror laws.

"There is no doubt that Davud took the initiative to prepare the terror act and that he was the ring leader," the judge said as he delivered the verdict.

He said Davud planned to carry out the attack himself by placing a bomb outside Jyllands-Posten's offices in Aarhus, in western Denmark.

The men had been under surveillance for more than a year when authorities moved to arrest them. Norwegian investigators, who worked with their US counterparts, said the defendants were building a bomb in a basement laboratory in Oslo.

Jakobsen, an Uzbek national who changed his name after moving to Norway, provided some of the chemicals for the bomb, but claims he did not know they were meant for explosives. Jakobsen contacted police and served as an informant, but still faced charges for his involvement before that.

An Associated Press investigation in 2010 showed that authorities learned early on about the alleged cell by intercepting emails from an al-Qa'ida operative in Pakistan and — thanks to those early warnings — were able to secretly replace a key bomb-making ingredient with a harmless liquid when Jakobsen ordered it at an Oslo pharmacy.

The judge said it had been proven that Davud had contacts with al-Qa'ida in Pakistan, and that his notebook contained references to Saleh al-Somali, al-Qa'ida's chief of external operations, who officials believe helped organize the New York, Manchester and Norway plots. He was killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan in 2009.

During the trial, prosecutors presented testimony obtained in the U.S. in April from three American al-Qa'ida recruits turned government witnesses.

AP

Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant

£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Urgently seeking a Dynam...

Test Lead - Financial Reporting - Banking - London

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...

Business Analyst, Retail Bank, £375-400p/d

£375 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Embedded Software Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + V. Competitive : Progressive Recruitment: Embedded...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game