Holy war against newspaperHoly war against newspaper
Bombs exploding over pictures of Danish daily Jyllands-Posten and blood flowing over the national flag and a map of Denmark are among the images circulating on the internet after the newspaper printed twelve cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed last month. Daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported that the internet collages, posted in the name of an unknown organisation calling itself 'The Glory Brigades in Northern Europe', showed pictures of various tourist attractions in Denmark and stated that 'The Mujahedeen have numerous targets in Denmark - very soon you all will regret this', amongst other things. Another picture showed soldiers, armed with bombs, over a map of Denmark, with blood spattered over parts of the country.
The front page of Jyllands-Posten featured prominently on many of the four collages. The newspaper has been criticised by Muslims for printing the cartoons, and was forced to hire security guards after receiving hate mail and death threats over the telephone. The newspaper asked illustrators to make the cartoons after reports that artists were reluctant to illustrate a book on Mohammed for fear of Muslim retribution. The daily's editors said the cartoons were a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark. The Glory Brigades have similarities with another internet group calling itself 'Al-Queda's Chapter in Northern Europe', which has also posted threats against Northern European countries and praised the London bombings in July. Though a single individual, or a small group of people, may turn out to be responsible for the internet threats, terrorism researcher Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen from the Danish Institute of International Studies warned against not taking the propaganda seriously. She said Al-Queda and its sympathisers had taken the internet into their service.
'We know that the internet is used both for propaganda and for actual terrorism instructions. It makes it more difficult for intelligence agencies to identify potential terrorists, because the internet reduces their need for physically passing through country's borders in the recruitment and training process,' she said. Dalgaard-Nielsen pointed out, however, that the text on the website looked homemade. The language was more direct and less florid with Koran quotes than the original Al-Queda organisation preferred in their messages. Fourteen days ago, sources in the Italian intelligence service warned that a Moroccan group with a connection to the al-Queda network had members in Scandinavia. Søren Hove, terrorism researcher at the Odense University, said the message displayed in the collages was so threatening that it should be investigated by the police. On the other hand, he said, such anonymous threats should be taken with a grain of salt. 'We shouldn't allow this to upset us,' he said. 'Anyone with a minimal knowledge of computers and photoshop can create such internet collages just to raise hell. My guess is that it was someone who lives here, who is angry with Jyllands-Posten, which doesn't mean he has the desire or resources to carry the threats out.'