On December 29, Scandinavian authorities arrested five terrorists planning an attack in Denmark. Almost as interesting as what they targeted is what they spared and the lessons it holds for future counterterrorism efforts.
The plot was to storm the Copenhagen newsroom of Jyllands Posten and murder its staff. It was the fourth attempt this year by Islamic extremists to punish the newspaper that published the Mohammed cartoons. But the terrorists are guilty of selective prosecution. They have yet to strike Politiken, which also published the cartoons, even though its offices are literally next door.
It is logical that Jyllands is the principal target because it sparked the controversy. It was Jylland's editor, Flemming Rose, who originally commissioned the cartoons in 2005. A Danish comedian had told interviewers he would publicly urinate on the Bible, but would not dare do the same to the Koran. Rose's message was that Islam should be treated equally, not specially.