CONTROVERSY

Cartoonist's Attacker Tied to al Qaeda

The Somali man who attempted to attack cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in his home on Friday was "suspected of being involved in terror-related activities in East Africa" and had “close ties to the Somali terror organization al-Shabaab as well as to al Qaeda leaders in East Africa,” according to Danish authorities. Westergaard was at home with his 5-year-old granddaughter at the time and pressed a panic button, alerting the authorities of the intrusion before hiding in the bathroom with his granddaughter. The artist also has a “safe room,” part of security measures taken after the publication of his controversial cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban in a Danish newspaper. According to Westergaard, the man yelled “revenge” and “blood” as he entered the house. “My grandchild did fine,” he said. “It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it.” The man was shot after throwing an axe at a police officer, and is being charged with the attempted murder of both Westergaard and the police officer.