Lars Vilks: What we know about the controversial artist

Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks Credit: REUTERS/Bertil Ericson/Scanpix

Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who was attending a "freedom of expression" event at a Copenhagen cafe where shots were fired today, has been seen as a controversial figure ever since he created a series of drawings depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammad as a dog back in 2007.

A self-taught artist the 67-year-old has been the target of previous failed murder plots by an American woman nicknamed 'Jihad Jane' in 2009 and by three men carrying knives who had been encouraged to launch an attack against Vilks following a video message released by Al-Shaabab in 2010.

The cartoonist, who was attending today's event at a cafe in Krudttønden to mark the anniversary of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, was also the victim of a violent attack when he was headbutted while giving a lecture about free speech in 2010.

Most recently Vilks was thrown into the limelight in October when it was announced that the Lars Vilks Committee, set up to support the cartoonist and freedom of expression, had awarded its 2014 freedom prize to Charlie Hebdo.

Although police have made no comment as to who was the intended target of today's shootings it is known that Vilks was present when bullets were fired.