According to police, Lars Vilks, who cartoonized the Prophet Muhammad on his dog’s body in 2007, targeted him in numerous attempted assassinations, but was killed in a car accident in Sweden.
Mr. Birx, who has been under police custody since 2010, headed to his home in southern Sweden when a civilian police car he was driving crossed the median and collided head-on with a truck, killing Mr. Birx. Said his two bodyguards, the police.
The truck driver was seriously injured and taken to the hospital.
Local police official Stephen Sinteus said at a press conference on Monday that he was “considering the possibility of a tire explosion.” “At this point, there is no indication that this was an assassination.”
Sinteus said the two police officers killed in the crash had worked with Birx for several years.
The accident occurred on Sunday afternoon along a Markaryd four-lane highway about 300 miles southwest of Stockholm.
Many Muslims consider Muhammad’s portrayal to be profane, and cartoons like Mr. Wilkes have caused widespread backlash over the years. In 2005, a Danish newspaper published a portrait of Muhammad wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb that touched on fierce protests by Islam.
In 2015, Islamic extremists attacked the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a reprint of the cartoon, killing 12 people.
Mr. Wilkes’ black-and-white painting was published by a Swedish local newspaper in 2007 and was blamed by the Islamic people of the country and the Islamic Council Organization, which is the governing body of 57 Muslim-dominated countries.
Later, Mr. Birx was threatened with murder, forcing a group associated with al-Qaeda to place a $ 100,000 bounty on his head and temporarily move to a secret location.
After the comic was released, Mr. Birks was repeatedly threatened.
In 2010, he was beaten while giving a lecture on free speech at Uppsala University in Sweden. That year, two brothers were also imprisoned after trying to burn his house. In another case, a suicide bomber detonated two explosives in central Stockholm and sent a message to several Swedish media outlets selecting Mr. Wilkes before committing suicide.
In 2015, a Copenhagen shooter attacked a cafe that Wilkes was talking about at an event called “Art, Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression,” killing filmmakers and injuring three police officers. Helle Merete Brix, one of the organizers of the event, said she believed Vilks was the intended target, although she was unharmed by the shooting. Police later said they shot and killed a man who believed he was responsible for the attack at the cafe and another attack at the synagogue where one was killed.
After the attack, Mr. Birks traveled with an armed bodyguard, the Associated Press reported. “It’s like starting a new life,” he said. “Everything has changed. I have to understand that I can’t go home. I probably have to find another place to live.”
Despite angering the Muslims and threatening his life, Mr. Birx said he had no regrets in the cartoon. “I’m not really interested in offending the Prophet,” Birx told AP in 2010. Nothing is so holy that you can’t offend it. “