Dubai (AFP) Dec 13, 2010
An Internet posting on Monday attributed to a senior Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq warned that last weekend's deadly bombings in Stockholm were "only the beginning," and threatened attacks against NATO and Europe.
In an audio recording on the Shumukh al-Islam Islamic website, a man identified as Abu Suleiman al-Nasser, a leader of the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, warned that the Sweden attacks were "only the beginning of a new era in our jihad," or holy war.
Suleiman, who is "war minister" of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), warned NATO countries to "withdraw their troops from Afghanistan immediately and unconditionally," and to "stop their war against Islam."
Otherwise, "you'll have no security" and "expect that we will strike at the heart of Europe," the speaker warned in the nearly two-minute recording.
In a separate communique signed in his name, the previously unheard of Partisans of Islamic Jihad urged jihadists to try to wreak havoc during the Christmas and New Year holidays in the West with false reports of imminent attacks.
"Take care in the coming days to sow terror and panic in unholy ground," said the statement on the Shumukh al-Islam site. "We want to terrify with false alerts."
The same website on Sunday identified the bomber behind Saturday's attacks in Stockholm as Taimur Abdelwahab and published a photograph it said was him.
Sweden's top prosecutor on Monday "confirmed 98 percent" that "the man who blew himself up" in a busy pedestrian quarter of the Swedish capital following a car explosion, was Abdelwahab.
The twin blasts rocked a shopping street in central Stockholm, killing a man suspected of being the bomber and wounding two others.
earlier related report
Swedish and British newspapers identified the bomber as Taimour al-Abdaly, a 28-year-old Iraqi-born Swede. Police said Monday they couldn't confirm the identification, but added they're "98 percent" sure it was Abdaly who died in the suicide bombing. That he was the only fatality might have been sheer luck.
Carrying a rucksack full of nails, the attacker had two bombs strapped to his body, one of which detonated on a not-so-busy side street. Apparently, the man tripped and fell, setting off the explosive that was meant to strike in a shopping street bustling with holiday shoppers nearby.
"It's not unreasonable to assume that he could have made a mistake, so that a portion of the bomb detonated and caused his death," Tomas Lindstrand, chief prosecutor for the security police in Sweden, was quoted as saying by The New York Times. "There is speculation that he was on his way to a place where there are a lot of people. This was in the middle of Stockholm, in the middle of Christmas. It's not a daring guess."
Only minutes before the bomb detonated, a white Audi 80 filled with canisters of gas went up in flames nearby, slightly injuring two people. The Audi was bought by Abdaly in November, Swedish officials said.
Shortly before the explosions, Swedish news agencies received e-mail with audio messages attached, in which a man threatened to carry out attacks in Sweden. The audio message, quoted from by The New York Times, condemned Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks for his 2007 drawing of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog and the presence of 500 Swedish troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
"Now your children, daughters and sisters shall die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying," the message said.
Swedish police added the attacked executed the bombing alone but might have had accomplices helping him prepare. They didn't mention links to Islamist organizations such as al-Qaida.
It wasn't clear whether Abdaly sought help in Britain, but British police Sunday said they were searching a property in Luton in connection with the Stockholm bombings.
A one-hour drive from London, Luton was the starting point for the four bombers in the attacks on the London transit system on July 7, 2005.
Abdaly lived in Luton while studying at the University of Bedfordshire, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reports.
His wife and their three children still live there, as does Abdaly's father; the family told the Swedish press they had lost contact with him. "The whole family is in shock, and wants to find out what happened," the father was quoted as saying by Swedish newspaper Expressen.
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Sweden suicide bomber a 'friendly' immigrant turned radical
Stockholm (AFP) Dec 13, 2010
Taymour Abdelwahab, the suicide bomber behind twin weekend blasts in Stockholm, was described Monday as an ordinary, friendly young man who underwent a drastic radicalisation after moving to Britain to study. Sweden's top prosecutor "confirmed 98 percent" that "the man who blew himself up" in a busy pedestrian quarter of the Swedish capital following a car explosion, was Abdelwahab. The ... read more
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