A Danish court has found four men guilty of plotting to kill a large number of people at a newspaper in revenge for its publication in 2005 of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The men, who were arrested in a joint Danish-Swedish police operation at the end of 2010, were found guilty on the main
charge of terrorism, but were acquitted on two charges of weapons possession for technical reasons, court officials said on Monday.

Judge Katrine Eriksen told the court that the target of the planned attack was the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which first published the cartoons seven years ago. She said the goal was to kill as many people as possible there.

A machine-pistol with a silencer, a revolver, 108 bullets, 200 plastic handcuff strips and $20,000 (16,000 euros) were among the items found in the men's possession when they were arrested.

"The accused...are guilty of terrorism, Eriksen said in the ruling broadcast live on television. "[They] agreed and prepared acts to kill people."

The men had all pleaded not guilty to the charges, though one, Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri, a Tunisian citizen, had pleaded guilty to illegal possession of weapons.

The others convicted were Munir Awad, a Swedish citizen born in Lebanon; Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, a Swedish citizen born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Egyptian father; and Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti, a Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin.

Source: Agencies