Swedish bomber threatened jihad: reports

The suicide bomber who killed himself in Stockholm carried three sets of bombs and had sent threats referring to "jihad" in an email shortly before his death, a prosecutor says.
On Monday, police in Luton, U.K., search the house of the man accused of detonating a series of deadly explosions in Stockholm on Saturday. ((Akira Suemori/Associated Press))

The suicide bomber who killed himself in Stockholm carried three sets of bombs and had sent threats referring to "jihad" in an email shortly before his death, a prosecutor said Monday.

Tomas Lindstrand identified the suicide bomber behind Saturday's blasts as 28-year-old Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who has been living in Britain for 10 years. Some media reports identified the man as Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, and said he was born in Iraq.

Parts of the explosives probably detonated by mistake before Abdulwahab reached his final destination, he said.

"He had three sets of bombs and I don't think his intention was to blow himself up only," Lindstrand said. "It was a failure, luckily."

He said Abdulwahab had bombs strapped to his body, more in a backpack and also carried "something that looked like a pressure-cooker."

Abdulwahab was also the registered owner of the car that exploded in Stockholm shortly before the suicide blast Saturday, Lindstrand said.

He hasn't yet been identified by DNA tests or by relatives and was completely unknown to security police before the incident.   

Police search home in U.K.

Earlier, unconfirmed reports said the man was from a small town in southern Sweden who previously studied at the University of Bedfordshire in the English town of Luton. Late Sunday, British police raided a property in Bedfordshire, but didn't make any arrests.

Neighbours in Luton said Abdulwahab often took walks with his two young daughters and infant son but kept mostly to himself.

A Swedish prosecutor said Monday police are '98 per cent' certain they have identified the man responsible for the Stockholm blasts. ((Reuters TV))
Abdulwahab attended high school in Sweden after moving there in 1992, the CBC's Ann MacMillan reported from London.

He moved to England in 2001, and graduated from the University of Bedfordshire, near Luton, with a degree in sports therapy in 2004, she reported.

In 2006 or 2007, Abdulwahab began attending the Luton Islamic Centre.

Its secretary, Farasat Latif, said the newcomer was "very friendly, bubbly — he was well liked."

But soon, Abdulwahab began making extremist statements focused on "suicide bombings, pronouncing Muslim leaders to be disbelievers, denouncing Muslim governments."

Mosque officials confronted him about the statements, but, Latif said, his radicalism continued.

"One day, during morning prayers in the month of Ramadan — there were about 100 people there — the chairman of the mosque stood up and exposed him, warning against terrorism, suicide bombings and so on," Latif said. "He knew it was directed at him. He stormed out of the mosque and was never seen again."

Others injured

Two other people were wounded in the attack, which came shortly after a car explosion in a busy shopping district in central Stockholm.

The audio file sent in an email to the security police and Swedish news agency TT shortly before the blast referred to jihad, Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan and an image by a Swedish artist that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, enraging many Muslims.

Because of the country's silence toward all this, "so will your children, daughters, brothers and sisters die, like our brothers, sister and children die," a man's voice said in the file, submitted to The Associated Press by TT.

"Now the Islamic state has been created. We now exist here in Europe and in Sweden. We are a reality," he said. "I don't want to say more about this. Our actions will speak for themselves."

With files from the CBC's Ann MacMillan