Five arrested over Muhammad cartoon protests

Five men have been arrested over their alleged involvement in protests outside the Danish Embassy in London over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

All five of the men are suspected of "using threatening words or written material to stir up racial hatred", while four of the men were arrested on suspicion of incitement to murder.

Four of the men were arrested in London, at their homes in Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Southall, and are now being questioned at a central London police station. A fifth man, who was arrested in the West Midlands, is being questioned at a police station there.

The men are all alleged to have taken part in demonstrations at the Danish Embassy on February 3 and 4. During the protests, placards were seen which threatened repeats of the September 11 and July 7 terrorist attacks.

Downing Street condemned the actions of some of the protestors as "completely unacceptable".

Scotland Yard subsequently received over 500 complaints from the public about the protests.

Previously, only one protestor had been arrested. Omar Khayam, 22, had dressed as a suicide bomber at the demonstration, but later apologised. He was not charged in connection with protest, but was recalled to prison for breaching the terms of his parole for possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

The cartoons, one of which depicted Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban, were originally published last September in a Danish newspaper. However, the reprinting of the cartoons in several European newspapers earlier this year sparked a series of violent protests around the world.


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