Denmark: hotel bomber found guilty of terror

AP News
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Posted: May 30, 2011 12:11 PM
Denmark: hotel bomber found guilty of terror

A Chechen-born man was convicted of attempted terrorism Monday for accidentally setting off a letter bomb that investigators believe was intended for a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

The Copenhagen City Court said Lors Doukayev, a one-legged amateur boxer, was trying to assemble the bomb when it went off in a hotel bathroom on Sept. 10 last year.

Doukayev, a 25-year-old citizen and resident of Belgium, received cuts to his face in the explosion. No one else was injured.

Prosecutors said Doukayev, who pleaded innocent to terrorism, was preparing the bomb to target a Danish newspaper which sparked fiery protests in Muslim countries by printing 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. They believe his intention was for it to arrive on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

The court dismissed Doukayev's claim that he carried the explosives and a gun for personal protection and was trying dismantle the bomb when it went off. He was also found guilty of unlawful weapons possession.

The device was filled with steel pellets and contained triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which terrorists used in bombs that killed 52 people in London in 2005.

Wearing headphones, Doukayev listened quietly as the verdict was read and translated into French. He then smiled and waved to the interpreter.

Doukayev's defense lawyer, Niels Anker Rasmussen, said he was surprised by the verdict, but had not decided yet whether to appeal. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

Investigators initially had difficulty determining Doukayev's identity, saying he used three different names in his travel documents, and had even scratched the serial number off his prosthetic right leg.

It was the second terrorism verdict in Denmark this year. On Feb. 4, a Somali immigrant was sentenced to nine years in prison for breaking into the home of a cartoonist who made one of the most controversial of the 12 drawings of Muhammad. Wielding an ax and a knife, the attacker was shot in the leg by police as the cartoonist sheltered in a panic room, unharmed.