March 9th, 2010
09:56 AM ET

Irish police arrest 7 on murder plot charges

Irish police arrested seven people Tuesday suspected of plotting to commit a murder abroad, they announced.

Media reports suggested the target was Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew a cartoon of the Muslim prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007, prompting al Qaeda to offer $100,000 to anyone who killed him - plus an extra $50,000 if the killer slit his throat.

Irish police did not confirm that Vilks was the target, but responded to a CNN question about Vilks by saying the arrests were "part of an investigation into a conspiracy to commit a serious offense, namely, conspiracy to murder an individual in another jurisdiction."

Four men and three women were arrested by Irish police in Waterford and Cork, authorities said. They range in age from mid-20s to late 40s.

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