Swedish artist Lars Vilks, marked for murder by al-Qaeda after he drew a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body, was killed in a traffic accident in Sweden on Oct. 3, the BBC reports.
Vilks was personally interviewed in the Christian Action Network’s documentary film Europe’s Last Stand: America’s Final Warning. A segment of that interview may be viewed here.
Investigators have said so far that the collision, which also killed two police bodyguards, does not appear linked to foul play. The 75-year-old illustrator had been under police protection since he first received death threats – presumably from Muslim activists – over the “blasphemous” cartoon, which appeared in a Danish newspaper.
The accident sparked a large fire. The driver of the truck was injured and taken to the hospital, where investigators questioned him. Police are saying it is still unclear how the collision occurred.
“This is being investigated like any other road accident. Because two policemen were involved, an investigation has been assigned to a special section of the prosecutor’s office,” a police spokesperson told AFP.
One eyewitness told the Aftonbladet newspaper that the car in which Vilks was traveling seemed to lose control and came over to his side of the motorway at high speed. The truck in front did not have time to swerve and then they collided with a loud bang at “incredible speed”, he told the newspaper.
In 2015, Vilks attended a free speech forum in Copenhagen that was targeted by a gunman. He said he was probably the target of the attack, which killed a film director.