Here's Who's On Al Qaeda's Most Wanted List (And Some Names Might Surprise You)
Twin terrorist attacks in Copenhagen have left the world on edge once again; a lone gunman left citizens of Denmark shaken after a day of violence on Saturday. The attacks left two dead and five wounded, but the assumed target of the assault, Lars Vilks, escaped unscathed, thanks to a highly-trained security detail. Such attempts on Vilks' life are not new occurrences — rather, the controversial artist has incited considerable negative attention following his infamous 2007 sketch of the Prophet Mohammed as a dog. This work landed him on Al Qaeda's "Most Wanted" list, the latest version of which was published in 2013.
Found in the group's recruitment magazine, Inspire, the list's targets are not necessarily the world leaders that you might expect. George W. Bush's "War on Terror" didn't garner him a spot, nor has President Obama's and the Navy SEALs' successful mission to terminate Osama Bin Laden earn Al Qaeda's (unwanted) recognition. Rather, Inspire's list of nine men and two women are individuals who have been critical of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. As such, the names featured are those of prominent artists, writers and editors — not necessarily the first people who come to mind when we think of the greatest threat to Al Qaeda. But the heinous list is a true testament to the power of words and the need for free speech, and the everlasting necessity for expression.