Charlie Hebdo magazine, the target of a deadly attack by masked gunmen in Paris on Wednesday, isn't the first media outlet to provoke violent retribution for lampooning the Prophet Mohammed, depictions of whom are forbidden in Islam. The French weekly – whose old office was firebombed in 2011 after it published an issue supposedly guest-edited by the Prophet – is one of several satirical European media outlets whose perceived insults against Muslims have triggered worldwide protests and assassination plots in the past. Here are a few notable cases.
The 2005 Mohammed cartoon controversy
The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten sparked an international incident in September, 2005, when it published a series of cartoons lampooning the Prophet, including one, drawn by Kurt Westergaard, in which he wore a bomb in his turban. Waves of global protests and boycotting of Danish products resulted. In 2008, Danish police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin an an alleged plot to kill Mr. Westergaard. Two years later, an armed intruder broke into Mr. Westergaard's house in an attempt to kill him, but was shot and arrested by police.
A portrait of the Prophet as a dog
In 2007, the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks ignited controversy with a cartoon showing the Prophet as a rondellhund, or "roundabout dog," a style of animal-shaped sculpture that was a fashionable form of street art at the time. The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq – the precursor to what is now Islamic State – put out a $100,000 bounty on Mr. Vilks, and a $50,000 reward for killing the newspaper's editor. In 2009, Irish authorities arrested seven people in an alleged plot to assassinate Mr. Vilks, including Americans Jamie Paulin-Ramirez and Colleen LaRose, who went by the online moniker "Jihad Jane."
The 'Mickey Mouse' plot
Tahawar Hussain Rana, a Pakistani-born Canadian businessman living in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 18, 2009, and accused of helping to mastermind a plot – dubbed the Mickey Mouse project by him and his alleged conspirators – to kill two Danish journalists in retaliation for the Mohammed cartoons. His co-conspirator, David Headley, told the FBI that he trained with the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. In January, 2013, Mr. Rana was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
An al-Qaeda connection
Three men were arrested in Norway in 2010 in an al-Qaeda-linked plot to attack Jyllands-Posten. Two of them, Mikael Davud and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, were convicted in 2012, the first convictions under new Norwegian anti-terrorism laws. A third defendant was convicted on an explosives charge.
Charlie Hebdo attacked
In 2011, Charlie Hebdo's office was firebombed after it published a special issue, titled "Charia Hebdo," featuring a front-page cartoon of the Prophet together with the words, "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter."
With reports from Associated Press, Reuters, Colin Freeze, Tu Thanh Ha and Joanna Slater