International

Sweden bomber’s U.K. "links’’ being probed

An undated picture of alleged Stockholm suicide bomber Taymour Abdel Wahab.   | Photo Credit: -

British police and intelligence agencies on Monday launched an investigation after it emerged that a suicide bomber who blew himself up in a street full of Christmas shoppers near the Indian embassy in Stockholm at the weekend had lived in Britain and attended university here.

Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, (28), originally from Iraq, lived in Luton, 50 km north of London and home to a large Muslim community. He was reportedly last seen there two weeks ago.

Swedish authorities said they were ``98 per cent’’ sure that Abdaly was behind Saturday’s car bomb blast --Sweden’s first brush with a terror attack -- in which two persons were injured.

A semi-detached house in Luton, where Abdaly lived with his family, was cordoned off as police searched the property for explosives or other evidence of his links with extremists. Intelligence agencies were said to be investigating whether he was radicalised during his stay in Britain.

Qadeer Baksh, head of a local Islamic centre and mosque where Abdaly worshipped said there was concern about his ``distorted’’ understanding of Islam and when challenged, he ``stormed out’’ and was not seen again.

"We felt very uncomfortable, but we could not categorise him as a terrorist - we couldn't categorise him as somebody who was harmful because initially when we looked at what he was saying it could just have been his political views, so we had to challenge his political views and hope to bring him back to the right path,’’ he told the BBC.

Although married, Abdaly listed his profile on a dating website saying he was born in Baghdad and moved to Sweden in 1992-- arriving in Britain in 2001 to study. He wrote that he was married with two children but wanted to get married again and ``would like to have a big family. My wife agreed to this."

A spokesman for Bedfordshire University confirmed that Abdaly had been a student between 2001 and 2004 graduating in sports therapy. According to media reports, he told a lecturer that he was ``stressed out’’ by Iraq invasion.

Saturday’s explosions happened shortly after the Swedish security service and the local TT news agency received a clutch of emails in Swedish and Arabic threatening that Swedes would "die like our brothers and sisters", believed to be a reference to Sweden’s military involvement in Afghanistan. But Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that no link between the emails and the explosions had been established.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 3:20:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Sweden-bomberrsquos-U.K.-quotlinksrsquorsquo-being-probed/article15591867.ece

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