Swedish suicide bomber ‘planned Christmas carnage’

A SUICIDE bomber who blew himself up in Stockholm at the weekend was carrying a cocktail of explosives and probably meant to wreak carnage among Christmas shoppers, investigators said.

As British police searched the father-of-three’s home in Luton, Sweden’s chief prosecutor confirmed investigators believed the bomber was a Swedish citizen who was living in Britain, and was bent on killing “as many people as possible”.

After an Islamist group said Taymour Abdelwahab Al-Abdaly targeted Sweden over its military presence in Afghanistan, prosecution chief Tomas Lindstrand warned the bomber would likely have had accomplices.

While results of DNA tests are needed for confirmation, Lindstrand said he was 98% certain of the bomber’s identity but was trying to work out his target before he blew himself up prematurely.

“He had a bomb belt on him, he had a backpack with a bomb and he was carrying an object that has been compared to a pressure cooker. If it had all blown up at the same time, it would have been very powerful.

“Where he was headed… we don’t know. It is likely that something happened, that he made some kind of mistake that led to part of the bombs he was carrying went off and caused his death.

“This was during Christmas shopping in central Stockholm and he was extremely well-equipped when it came to bomb material… It is not much of a stretch to say he was going to a place with as many people as possible.”

The bomber might have been headed to the capital’s central train station or to Aahlens, a popular department store, he said.

While it had been established the suspect carried out the attack alone, investigators “have to assume he worked with several people,” Lindstrand said.

Abdelwahab, who would have been 29 today, was born in Iraq but became a Swedish citizen after his family moved there when he was 11 and had never come to the attention of the security services.

In London, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers raided a property in Luton late on Sunday as part of the probe.

British media reported that Abdelwahab had studied at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton and had been living in the town in recent years.

His wife and children were reportedly still living in Luton.

“Officers executed a search warrant under the Terrorism Act 2000 at an address in Bedfordshire. There have been no arrests,” said a spokesman.

Luton has been a focal point of clashes between Islamic extremists and far-right extremists in recent years.

The bomber was thrown out of a mosque for preaching about suicide bombings and attempting to recruit extremists, religious leaders said yesterday.

Muslim leaders in Luton said he stormed out when they confronted him as he tried to “sow seeds of discord and extremism”.


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