A one-legged Chechen boxer injured in an explosion at a Copenhagen hotel was preparing a letter bomb, likely intended for a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, police said Friday.
The device went off as the man was assembling it in a hotel bathroom on Sept. 10, said Svend Foldager, a police spokesman.
The suspect received cuts to his face. No one else was injured.
"We're dealing with a letter bomb. The bomb was completed. Apparently it was of a low-technology type, with a highly explosive substance inside," Foldager told reporters in Copenhagen. "It was filled with small steel pellets to create injuries."
He said the device contained triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which served as a detonator for the bombs used by terrorists in the 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people.
"We consider it likely that it was Jyllands-Posten in Aarhus that was the target," Foldager said, referring to the Danish daily whose 12 cartoons of Muhammad sparked fiery riots in Muslim countries in 2006. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry. The daily is headquartered in Aarhus, western Denmark.
The suspect was arrested in a park near the hotel shortly after the small blast. Police said he refused to reveal his identity, and had even scratched the serial number off his prosthetic right leg, but investigators believe he is a Chechen-born amateur boxer living in Belgium.
They were working with Belgian police to confirm his identity.