3 deny plot to attack Prophet cartoon paper

Three men accused in Norway of an al-Qaeda-linked plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad have pleaded not guilty to terror charges.

The trial of Mikael Davud, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak and David Jakobsen, which began yesterday, is being seen as a key test of Norway’s anti-terror laws.

The men had been under surveillance for more than a year when authorities moved to arrest them in July 2010.

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Norwegian investigators, who worked with their US counterparts, say the accused were building a bomb in a basement laboratory – a plot linked to the same al-Qaeda planners behind 2009 schemes to blow up New York’s subway and a shopping centre in Manchester.

The men deny the terror charges. Prosecutors must prove they worked together in a conspiracy, because a single individual plotting an attack is not covered by Norway’s anti-terror laws.