Lars Vilks, 75, is a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammed in 2007. He has lived with the constant threat of being murdered by jihadists ever since.
Today he was killed in a car crash near Markaryd, Sweden. Two members of law enforcement, who were acting as his bodyguards, were also killed. An unnamed truck driver was airlifted to the hospital. The authorities are keeping a tight lid on the identity of the injured truck driver.
One of the law enforcement bodyguards was driving the car. Local police say they believe the vehicle Vilks was in swerved in front of the truck. The identity of the driver has also not been named. The car had special run-flat tires, which could rule out a tire malfunction as the cause.
Director-General and Head of the Swedish Security Service Anders Thornberg said there would be a full investigation. He added that the public should expect to wait a long time for more details.
After drawing the Prophet Muhammed with the body of a dog in 2007, the al-Qaeda franchise in Iraq offered a $100k reward to anyone who could kill him. In 2010, Vilk’s home was firebombed.
In February of 2015, Vilks was invited to speak at a debate on free speech in Copenhagen, Denmark. Finn Nørgaard, a film director, was killed by a jihadist at the event. Vilks is believed to have been the intended target. The Jihadist gunman also injured five police officers and killed a security guard outside a Jewish Synagogue in Copenhagen.
Supporters of Lars Vilk are skeptical that the wreck was an accident. Many are suggesting that the vehicle was sabotaged, or that the law enforcement driver carried out a suicide attack.