In a statement released on the Danish Intelligence Web site early Saturday, Jakob Scharf, director-general of Denmark's PET intelligence agency, revealed that the suspect, who only recently was granted asylum, was "part of a terror-related network with connections to Denmark" and had been under surveillance for some time
Scharf said that the agency was taking the matter very seriously, adding that Friday's attack "confirms the terror threat directed towards Denmark and particularly towards the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard."
In a press release from the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, the cartoonist described the attack as "a shocking experience," adding that he was disturbed by the fact that his 5-year-old granddaughter had witnessed the attack but relieved that she was unharmed.
"It was a close call," he said, "a close call indeed. But we pulled through."
Jørn Mikkelsen, editor-in-chief of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, for which Westergaard continues to draw, expressed his gratitude to Danish police, calling the incident a "terrible experience" for Westergaard. Mikkelsen went on to say in a press statement that his paper has been dealing with threats against its staff for the past four years and that the paper will continue to follow safety measures suggested by Danish Intelligence.
Mikkelson could not be reached for comment, but Torben Møldrup, communications manager for the Danish paper, told ABC News that the cartoonist was "quite shaken" following Friday's attack but that "Mikkelsen and all the JP's journalists were relieved to know Westergaard and his family are safe."
Friday's attack follows a string of attempts on Westergaard's life. In 2008, two Tunisian nationals were arrested for plotting to kill the artist; however, officials were unable to provide enough evidence to prosecute either suspect.
More recently, in October 2009, two Chicago men were arrested on charges of terrorism and conspiring to murder Westergaard.
Moderate Muslim organizations in Denmark have condemned the attack.