The seven people arrested in Waterford and Cork today in an alleged plot to murder Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks (see story) were carrying out an al-Qaida mission, according to reports.

The four men and three women were supposedly trying to carry out the terrorist organization's threat to murder Vilks. It even offered $100,000 to the person who killed him, as well as $50,000 if they slit his throat.

Al-Qaida was enraged after Vilks drew a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed depicted as a dog.

When the threats were made, Vilks was put into hiding by Danish authorities. But clearly, the al-Qaida killers were intent on finding him.

The seven have all lived in Ireland and come from Morocco and Yemen. They are refugees with legal status in Ireland.

The arrests are bound to raise questions about al-Qaida activities in Ireland. There have been several stories that the organization is active there, but this is the first documented case of an alleged death plot.