Suspects admit bomb plots in Denmark, Norway--police

by Reuters
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 07:58 GMT

* Plot to bomb Danish daily that ran Prophet cartoon

* Another plot targeted Chinese embassy in Norway

* Suspect's lawyer denies he had al Qaeda link

(Recasts with second suspect admitting to China plot)

By Walter Gibbs and John Acher

OSLO/COPENHAGEN, Sep 28 (Reuters) - Two men held in Norway have admitted planning bomb attacks, one of them against a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005, Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday.

The other planned attack was against the Chinese embassy in Oslo, security police said.

They said Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, a 37-year-old Iraqi Kurd with Norwegian residency, had confessed to plotting to attack Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark's largest newspapers, before his arrest in July.

Mikael Davud, 39, a member of China's Uighur minority with Norwegian citizenship, admitted on Tuesday that he had plans to blow up a Scandinavian target -- the Chinese embassy in Oslo, his attorney told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

The two suspects and 31-year-old David Jakobsen, an Uzbek with Norwegian residency, were all arrested in a coordinated action on July 8 and have been in custody since then.

The three have been charged with conspiring to commit terror in Norway. But Siv Alsen, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian Police Security Service, said those charges could now be amended to reflect Bujak's Danish target.

She said Davud and Jakobsen were re-questioned Tuesday in light of Bujak's remarks, which were made some time ago but first made public on Tuesday.

Jakobsen's attorney told NRK that his client maintained his innocence under questioning on Tuesday. But Davud made a detailed confession, according to his lawyer, Carl Rieber-Mohn.

"He had plans for a bomb that was supposed to be exploded at the Chinese embassy," Rieber-Mohn told NRK. He emphasised that his client has not admitted criminal guilt.

He said Davud explained to him that he wanted to harm Chinese interests to avenge family members whose deaths he blames on Chinese officials and to liberate the Uighur area of China, which is known as Xinjiang province.

"According to my client, this is a plan he has had entirely alone, and he has used the other two suspects to obtain part of the ingredients he needed to produce a bomb," Rieber-Mohn said.

AL QAEDA LINK DENIED

Foreign intelligence sources have said that Davud, the presumed leader of the group, has had direct links with important figures in al Qaeda, Aftenposten reported.

But Bujak's attorney, Brynjar Meling, told the paper that his client denies being part of a terror cell and insists he had nothing to do with al Qaeda.

Alsen, the security police spokeswoman, would not say whether Bujak implicated the other suspects during questioning.

"He has spoken about his role in the case, in the way he felt he was contributing," she said.

Jyllands-Posten's chief editor, Joern Mikkelsen, told his newspaper that a Norway-based plot against the newspapers was "shockingly new" to him.

"Unfortunately it's one more example of a threat against us, but it's also one more example that we are well taken care of," he said. "We have great confidence in both PET and the police."

Denmark's security service, PET, issued a statement Tuesday saying that "an act of terror" was not imminent because the suspects were under close surveillance by the Norwegians.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.