A SUICIDE BOMBER KILLED IN
One man was killed and two other people were injured, on Saturday 12/11/2010 evening, when two explosions hit the heart of Stockholm’s city-center shopping district, the Swedish police said. The country’s foreign minister called the blasts a terrorist attack, and an e-mail to news organizations minutes before the blasts seemed to link them to anger over anti-Islamic cartoons and the war in Afghanistan.
The police said that a car parked near the busy shopping street of Drottninggatan exploded first, shortly before 17:00. Stockholm time, and that the wreckage of the vehicle included gas canisters. A second blast followed minutes later, and about 200 yards from the first. A man’s body, with blast injuries to his abdomen, was discovered after the second explosion (see also -Copenhagen 09.10.10).
Swedish newspapers portrayed the dead man as a suicide bomber, and the newspaper Aftonbladet said on its Web site that he had been carrying pipe bombs and a backpack full of nails. But the police declined to confirm this. A police spokeswoman, Petra Sjolander, refused to speculate about whether the blasts were a terrorist attack. It was later revealed that the suspect carried with him 6 pipe bombs and only one of them went off. According to some witnesses in the scene the perpetrators shouted in what seems to be Arabic.
Still, comments from Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on his Twiter account did not attempt to hedge the issue. His post read: “Most worrying attempt at terrorist attack in crowded part of central Stockholm. Failed — but could have been truly catastrophic...”
An editor at the Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra, Dan Skeppe, said the agency had received an e-mail minutes before the blasts; it was also addressed to Sweden’s security police, and included a sound recording addressed to “Sweden and the Swedish people”. Mr. Skeppe said the recording cited Swedish “silence” over a SWEDISH CARTOON of the Prophet Muhammad drawn by the artist Lars Vilks (see -Life-Threat), criticized Sweden’s 500-soldier military contingent in northern Afghanistan and threatened attacks on Swedes.
“Now, your children — daughters and sisters — will die like our brothers and sisters and children die,” it continued. “Our actions will speak for themselves, as long as you do not end your war against Islam and the insult against the prophet and your stupid support for that pig Vilks” (see also - Norris Hiding).
The Stockholm blasts seemed certain to cause widespread shock in Sweden. The country has long prided itself on having created a stable and peaceful society at home, and on having avoided involvement in the upheavals that have ravaged much of the rest of Europe in modern times, including World War II.
It has previously escaped the types of bombings mounted elsewhere in Europe since the 9/11 attacks in the United States. The Swedish military’s current deployment in Afghanistan, adding signals intelligence specialists to a NATO-led combat mission under American command, is a rare departure from the country’s usual pattern of avoiding involvement in military alliances.
Another major change has been the impact of heavy immigration, especially Muslims. Their growing numbers, about 5% of Sweden’s 9.3 million people, and the furor surrounding Lars Vilks, have contributed to a rise in tensions that have led to increased support for a right-wing anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats, which won 20 seats this summer in a general election.
The recorded message sent to Swedish news organizations demanded that Muslims in Sweden “stop sucking up and degrading yourselves,” and broadened the appeal to “all mujahedeen,” or holy warriors, in Europe. “Now it’s time to attack,” it said. “Do not wait any longer. Come forth with whatever you have, even if it is a knife, and I know that you can bring more than knives. Fear no one. Do not be afraid of jail. Do not fear death.”
Several Swedish news organizations described the e-mail as having been sent anonymously, but Dan Skeppe declined to confirm that, or to say whether the e-mail named the individual or organization who sent it. The e-mail’s reference to Lars Vilks, pointed to the deep anger in the Muslim world over Lars Vilks’ drawings of the Prophet Muhammad in 2007.
Publication of the drawings in Swedish newspapers drew widespread condemnation in the Muslim world and death threats against Lars Vilks, who has since lived under police protection. In March this year Colleen Larose, known also as Jihad-Jane, was charged in USA with trying to recruit Islamic terrorists to kill Lars Vilks (see - Ali Charaf Damache).
* Anders Thornberg of the Swedish Security Service said that while investigators knew the 28-year-old man carried out attacks alone, they did not rule out a bigger plot. "We know from experience that there are normally more people involved [in these kinds of cases]... I would say that the investigation is assuming that he had accomplices," Thornberg said on Monday 12/13/2010. He said the bomber was not previously known to Swedish intelligence.
* There are many similarities between the Times Square Plot, committed by Faisal Shahzad, on 05/01/2010, and the Stockholm attempt and in some parameters between the perpetrators. Both were well integrated into the western society, had an academic education, were married but failed to hold a steady job and were not known to the local security authorities. .
* 'Shumukh al-Islam', a pro Al Qaeda website, has named Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly as the man responsible for the explosions (see - Jihad Web 12.13.10).
* A 30-year-old foreign national, said by neighbors to be a nursing student from Kuwait, was seized in a dawn raid, on Tuesday 03/08/2011, in Glazgow, Scotland, in connection with the Blast (see – Glasgow 03.08.11)
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