As a service to our occasional, non-Danish readers we break for a news story of a particular interest to those who followed the Danish cartoon crisis in 2006, which we covered several times, including our comment by Samuel Rachlin (in English).
Tuesday this week it was divulged that the four suspected terrorists on trial in the Danish city of Odense in the so-called Vollsmose terror case may have planned to bomb Flemming Rose, the Culture Editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten which in 2005 commissioned the cartoons of Mohammed, the founder of the religion of Islam, which a few months later was used to ignite a number of violent attacks against Danish firms and diplomatic representations, and where the costs in lost money and lost lives have not yet been fully tallied.
During the trial at the Courthouse in Odense one of the four individuals accused of planning terror attacks in Denmark divulged that he and the three others, together or separately, had discussed and/or worked on several planned bomb attacks. One of the ideas discussed included the construction of a remote-controlled bomb that should have been directed against Rose. The bomb would be planted in a car that was supposed to be driven into Roses private home. (It has already been uncovered that A.K., the particular member of the group who suggested the idea, had considered killing one of the cartoonists. He also wrote letters in praise of Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab Zarqawi and offered himself: Revenge, revenge! I am the first volunteer! God is great!)
The suspected terrorist behind the disclosures Tuesday, a 32 year old Danish convert to Islam code-named A.A. in the trial, suggested that the idea of attacking Rose was not serious but he also admitted during the court case Tuesday that two of the group actually had detonated a bomb on a soccer field behind a school in Odense. It was also divulged that the groupwhich collected videos of Islamist decapitations of kidnapped victims as well as speeches by Osama bin Laden and photos of the 19 9/11 high-jackersplanned to use chemical fertilizers to construct a number of bombs.
Politically correct, Danish (and non-Danish) commentators will no doubt say that Rose should have expected something like this to happen. Disrespectfully, we disagree. Nobody ought to expect that questioning or even peacefully taking shots at a religion will result in death threats. Rose and the cartoonists to this day are under police protection, just as many other people with direct or indirect connections to the cartoon crisis have been, including many journalists, several academics and businessman and at least a few politicians. They and their families live or have lived in fear merely due to some other individuals exercise of their freedom of speech.
Altogether, this is a sad reminder of Thomas Jeffersons words that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.