Alleged plot suspects have detention extended

Wednesday 10 March 2010 23.10
1 of 2
Waterford - Special sitting of district court
Waterford - Special sitting of district court
Lars Vilks - Death threats
Lars Vilks - Death threats

Five people held in connection with an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist have had their period of detention extended by 72 hours.

The three Algerians, one Libyan and one Palestinian were brought before a special sitting of Waterford District Court this evening.

A Croatian man and an American woman are still being held for questioning.

They are due to be brought to court in the morning when gardaí will also seek to extend their periods of detention.

The four men and three women were arrested yesterday in Waterford and Cork in connection with a conspiracy to murder an individual in another jurisdiction.

Cartoonist Lars Vilks has been threatened over a drawing that depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

Gardaí spent today going through files on the eight computers seized as part of their operations yesterday.

The operation is part of an international investigation involving police and state security services from the US and Europe.

The head of an al-Qaeda faction in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, posted an audio tape on the internet in September 2007 offering $100,000 for the killing of Mr Vilks.

However, senior gardaí have said there is no evidence to date of any link between the suspects and the al-Qaeda faction.

Meanwhile, one of Ireland's Islamic leaders has said he is not surprised that there could be Islamic fundamentalist groups operating in the country.

Ali Abdullah al-Saleh, Imam to the Shia community in Ireland, has said that some Islamic educators are brainwashing young people.

Elsewhere, in the US, a Pennsylvanian woman has been charged with plotting to kill an unnamed Swedish man and trying to recruit fighters via the internet to commit violent attacks overseas.

The US Justice Department said Colleen LaRose, who also went by the pseudonym of ‘Fatima LaRose’ and ‘JihadJane’ was charged with conspiracy to commit murder overseas, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists, making false statements and attempted identity theft.