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'Vilks was target of Gothenburg attack'

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'Vilks was target of Gothenburg attack'
08:25 CEST+02:00
Controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks was the target of a foiled attack at the Röda Sten art gallery in Gothenburg on September 11th, according to a report in the Metro newspaper.

The Swedish prosecutor's office refused to comment on the report.

Vilks has meanwhile decided to cancel his participation in a debate on Friday at the Gothenburg Book Fair due to the security risks involved.

"The debate will be held but the security situation dictates that it wouldn't have been were I to be present," Vilks said.

The artist, who has faced numerous death threats and a suspected assassination plot after publishing a caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog in 2007, was coy about whether he would be attending the book fair at all.

"If I do I am not going to talk about it. I'll have to sneak in in costume, so if you see a bearded man with black glasses on, then...."

Sweden's elite counter-terrorism unit, together with the police, on September 10th arrested four men - 23-year-old Salar Sami Mahamood, 26-year-old Abdi Aziz Mahamud, 25-year-old Abdi Weli Mohamud, 24-year-old Mohamed Adel Kulan - for plotting an attack.

One of the suspects had bought a pocketknife to be used in the attack, and

one of the men had asked for Vilks at the art fair, according to Metro.

Adel Kulan was later released due to lack of evidence and the suspicions against the other men were downgraded from preparing terror crimes to preparing to commit murder.

They remain in custody.

The arrests led to an evacuation of the Röda Sten art gallery, while Vilks himself was in Stockholm at the time.

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