CRIME

Vilks Arson Attack Suspect Arrested

Police investigating an arson attack on the home of Muhammad cartoonist Lars Vilks in southern Sweden have arrested a 21 year old man.

The 21 year old was arrested on Saturday night in the Landskrona area on suspicion of aggravated arson.

The fire damage at the home of the 64 year old was not extensive and the blaze had burned itself out on discovery on Saturday morning. The 64 year old artist had not stayed at home on Friday night when the attack was thought to have taken place. Bottles with petrol were found inside the house.

The arson attack came just days after Vilks himself was physically attacked on May 11th while giving a lecture about free speech at Uppsala University. A day later his own website was hacked into. According to TT, the artist is now considering moving home.

The threats against the artist date back to 2007 when Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda published Vilks' satirical cartoon of the prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog to illustrate an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.

It led to protests by some Muslim groups and even death threats by extremists.

More recently, four men and three women, all Muslims originally from Morocco and Yemen, were arrested in southern Ireland in March over an alleged plot to assassinate Lars Vilks.