Irish police have arrested seven people over an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
Media reports say the four men and three women are all Muslim and are originally from Morocco and Yemen, with refugee status in Ireland.
Police declined to give details of the suspects detained in the southern counties of Waterford and Cork except to say their ages ranged from mid 20s to late 40s. Law enforcement agencies in other European countries and the US were also involved in the enquiry.
Cartoonist Lars Vilks’ drawing was printed in 2007 in Sweden in what a newspaper called a defence of free speech after Muslim anger over a cartoon of Muhammad in the Danish press.
An Iraqi group linked to al Qaeda offered the equivalent of 73,000 euros if he was killed. More cash was offered for the murder of the paper’s editor-in-chief.