Denmark-EmbassyThreat 04-23

Denmark evacuates embassies in Algeria, Afghanistan

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Danish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it has evacuated its staff from embassies in Algeria and Afghanistan because of threats after newspapers reprinted a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Embassy employees have been moved to secret locations in both countries’ capitals but continue to work, Foreign Ministry spokesman Erik Laursen said.

The announcement comes after Danish intelligence officials warned of an "aggravated" terror threat against Denmark since newspapers in the country in February of a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The warning specifically singled out North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.


The threat "is so concrete that we had to take this decision," Laursen told The Associated Press. "The decision is based on intelligence," he said, declining to elaborate.

The staff in Algiers was relocated "some days ago" and employees in Kabul were moved Wednesday, he said. Laursen stressed that the embassies have not been closed and can still be reached by telephone and e-mail.

"Right now, we are in places that we consider safe," he said.

The cartoon showing Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. It was one of 12 Danish prophet drawings that caused riots in the Muslim world in 2006 and it was reprinted on Feb. 13.

Newspapers said they reprinted the cartoon in support of free speech after police revealed a plot to kill the creator of the caricature. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

What To Read Next
Get Local