Seven people have been arrested in the Republic of Ireland over a suspected plot to kill a Swedish artist who portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a dog and had a $100,000 Al Qaeda bounty on his head.
Anti-terrorist units used information from the CIA, FBI and European intelligence agencies to identify the suspected terrorist cell of three women and four men. They are believed to include Algerian, Libyan, Croatian, U.S. and Palestinian citizens and at least one naturalized Irish citizen.
They were arrested in Cork and Waterford after a four-month international investigation.
The artist, Lars Vilks, has received death threats this year and was forced to go into hiding after his depictions of the Prophet were printed in a Swedish newspaper in 2007.
After the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was threatened by a Somali axeman in January, Vilks said he had received calls from “a Swedish-speaking Somali” who said: “Now it’s your turn.”