Denmark terror suspects remanded in custody

They allegedly planned to attack a newspaper that published caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

Copenhagen: Three terror suspects were remanded in custody by a Danish court Thursday in connection with a foiled attack plot on a newspaper that published caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

"The court has complied with the prosecution’s request for custody for four weeks, the first two weeks in isolation," Lykke Soerensen, who heads the legal department of the Danish intelligence agency PET, said on television channel TV2.

"We believe there are grounds for isolation," she said, adding there was concern the three might try to "affect the investigation and affect the witnesses."

The three men were identified by PET as a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Swede born in Lebanon, and a 30-year-old Swede.

The court hearing was held behind closed doors so the allegations against the three were not made public, but PET said on Wednesday they would face charges of "attempted terrorism."

The trio were arrested on Wednesday along with two other men for hatching what Danish officials called a plan to "kill as many people as possible" in an imminent assault on the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten daily.

All three resided in Sweden and came to the Copenhagen suburbs where they were arrested overnight to Wednesday in a rental car.

The head of PET Jackob Scharf said on Wednesday the men were part of "a militant Islamic group with links to international terrorist networks."

He added the plot was "to try to carry out a Mumbai-style attack".

The 2008 attacks in Mumbai saw 10 heavily armed gunmen trigger a standoff that left 166 people dead.

A fourth man arrested on Wednesday in Stockholm in connection with the same plot was set to appear in court in the Stockholm suburb of Sollentuna at 3:00 pm (1400 GMT).

Official documents show the court would then decide if the suspect -- 37-year-old Swedish citizen Sahbi Zalouti, who according to PET is of Tunisian origin -- would be remanded in custody for "preparation of terrorist crimes."

Media reported a 26-year-old Iraqi asylum-seeker arrested Wednesday in his apartment outside Copenhagen would be released, although the terrorism allegations against him remained.

Bureau Report

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