By Paul Cruickshank, CNN Terrorism Analyst
Four Swedish nationals accused of what officials describe as the most serious ever Islamist terrorist plot in Scandinavia, go on trial in Copenhagen Friday.
The alleged plot, which counter-terrorism officials in the United States and Scandinavia believe was directed by al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, targeted Jyllands Posten, the Copenhagen-based newspaper responsible for publishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. The four are alleged to have planned a gun attack on the newspaper, followed by “the execution” of hostages.
The cell’s alleged plans were thwarted by a joint operation by Swedish and Danish security services, which tracked the alleged terror cell as they drove from Sweden to Denmark in December 2010, with a submachine gun, a silencer, and several dozen 9mm submachine gun cartridges.