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Iraqi suspect says unaware of Danish terror plot

 Danish police officers stand guard as they await the arrival of four men arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting attack on the office of a newsp...
 Danish police officers stand guard as they await the arrival of four men arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting attack on the office of a newsp...
 Danish police officers stand guard as they escorts one of four suspect, partially visible at second from right, arrested on suspicion of planning a s...
 Danish police officers stand guard as one of four suspect arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting attack on the office of a newspaper that publi...

Denmark Terror Arrests

Danish police officers stand guard as they await the arrival of four men arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting attack on the office of a newsp...

Denmark Terror Arrests

Danish police officers stand guard as they await the arrival of four men arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting attack on the office of a newsp...

Denmark Terror Arrests

Danish police officers stand guard as they escorts one of four suspect, partially visible at second from right, arrested on suspicion of planning a s...

Denmark Terror Arrests

Danish police officers stand guard as one of four suspect arrested on suspicion of planning a shooting attack on the office of a newspaper that publi...

An Iraqi immigrant accused of helping plot an attack against a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad said in an interview published Friday that he was an innocent man arrested while providing three other suspects with an apartment.
Abdullah Muhammed Salman was released a day after his arrest Wednesday due to an apparent lack of evidence. Three men taken into custody with him remain in jail on charges attempting to carry out an act of terrorism and possession of illegal weapons. Police said they found a submachine gun, a handgun and ammunition in raids and believe the men were plotting to open fire inside the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which angered many Muslims by publishing 12 cartoons of Muhammad in 2005.
Salman told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper that a Swedish acquaintance had asked him to find the apartment for a couple in Copenhagen. After arranging a sublet, Salman went to downtown Copenhagen to meet the couple, but instead three men he had previously met only briefly at a mosque in Sweden were waiting for him.
"I felt that I could not reject them and took them out to the apartment in Herlev," a Copenhagen suburb, where the three men were arrested. Salman was arrested in his home in another suburb.
Swedish and Danish police said they had watched the three men for months and tailed their hired car from Stockholm to Copenhagen this week before arresting them.
"I had no idea that they would make terror and I still do not believe it," Salman told Ekstra Bladet.
Under a court order, none of the suspects can be named, but Salman identified himself to the newspaper.
The other three suspects are residents of Sweden _ a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Lebanese-born man and a 30-year-old whose national origin was not released. Preliminary charges are a step short of formal charges, but if they are formally filed and they are convicted they could face life sentences. They have pleaded not guilty.
The Danish Security and Intelligence Service, or PET, described some of the suspects as "militant Islamists with relations to international terror networks."
The daily, one of Denmark's largest, had asked Danish cartoonists to draw the prophet as a challenge to self-censorship. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable ones, for fear it could lead to idolatry.
A fifth suspect was arrested in Stockholm on Wednesday. A day after, a Swedish court ordered Sahbi Zalouti, 37, held in detention on suspicion of helping prepare the terrorist attack. Zalouti, a Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin, denied the charges.
"I know I am innocent. I have not planned anything," Salman told Ekstra Bladet. "I challenge PET. They cannot find anything on my computer, telephone or any place showing I was planning some kind of terror."
Salman could not be reached for comment on Friday.


Updated : 2020-12-01 02:22 GMT+08:00