Danish police to charge man under new anti-terrorism law
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Said Mansour, a slightly built man with a bushy beard, believes Muslims have a right to kill Americans in Iraq because, he said, "This is war; it's not a picnic."
So, he explained in an interview last week, he had no qualms about downloading and burning CDs of Internet videos depicting beheadings in Iraq and speeches by Abu Musab Zarqawi, the alleged terrorist mastermind behind much of the Iraqi insurgency.
Now, Danish police intend to make Mansour, 45, a Moroccan-born Danish citizen, the first person charged under an anti-terrorism law enacted in 2002 that forbids instigation of terrorism or offering advice to terrorists.
Police sources said Mansour would probably be charged with distributing CDs that contained the inflammatory jihadist speeches and gruesome images.
The law contains curbs on free speech that are remarkable in a country famous for tolerating all points of view.
It illustrates how democracies across Europe are adopting tougher measures in an era of rising extremist violence, despite protests that civil liberties are being sacrificed in the process.
Experts said the debate about how to balance anti-terrorism protections with individual freedoms is at the top of the agenda for European nations.