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Car bomb attack, Stockholm Sweden

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One man dead after blasts in Sweden
Mia Shanley and Ilze Filks, Reuters · Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010

STOCKHOLM — Two blasts rocked the centre of Stockholm on Saturday in a possible attack inspired by Sweden’s presence in Afghanistan, killing the bomber and wounding two other people, police and media said.

Swedish news agency TT said that 10 minutes before the first blast, when a car exploded near a busy shopping street, it received an email with threats over the Swedish presence in Afghanistan and over a years-old case of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad by a Swedish artist.

Police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said the car exploded at peak shopping hours at 5 p.m. (1600 GMT). About 10 to 15 minutes later another explosion took place on a street 300 metres (984 ft) away.

A man was found dead near the second explosion and two people with minor injuries were also found nearby.

Asked if the man blew himself up in some way, Lindgren said: “It is possible.”

Investigations were continuing to see if the two incidents were linked, he said.

A bag found near the dead man had also been examined, but no more explosives were found in it, he said.

Newspaper Aftonbladet quoted a source as saying that the man was carrying six pipebombs, of which only one exploded. He also had a rucksack full of nails and suspected explosive material, the newspaper said.

TT said the email it received was also sent to the Security Police, which was not immediately available to comment.

TT said the threat was linked to Sweden’s contribution to the U.S.-led NATO force in Afghanistan, where it has 500 soldiers, mainly in the north.

It also referred to caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet with the body of a dog in a cartoon in 2007. Most Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam as offensive.

The email had sound files in Swedish and Arabic.

“Our actions will speak for themselves, as long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks,” TT quoted a man as saying in one of the recordings.

Last March, an American who called herself “JihadJane” was charged with plotting to kill Vilks and using the Internet to enlist co-conspirators.

In May, arsonists tried to set fire to his house.

Vilks, contacted by Reuters Television, was safe.

“This is the first casualty of my project,” he said. “It was an act against the Swedish people to scare them and not to me. The good news was that a terrorist died and not someone else.”

Lindgren said it was not clear what caused the car to explode. After the first explosion, the gas canisters caused smaller blasts, he said.

Media reported scenes of panic among Christmas shoppers, with people fleeing amid smoke and the smell of explosives.

“It looked as if the man had carried something that exploded in his stomach,” Pascal, a trained medic, was quoted as saying on the website of newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

“He had no injuries to the face or body in general and the shops around were not damaged.”

Dany Daraghji, who works in a coffee shop near the scene of the first blast, said the area had been crowded.

“I heard a loud noise. I thought something fell...There were many people outside and here inside, some people went out to take photos,” he told Reuters.

In January, a Somali man was indicted for terrorism and attempted murder for breaking into the home of the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and threatening him with an axe.

A cartoon by Westergaard in 2005 that depicted the Prophet Mohammad with a turban shaped like a bomb caused outrage across the Muslim world, with at least 50 people killed in riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.


One dead after suicide bombing in Stockholm
Published: 11 Dec 10 21:37 CET
Updated: 12 Dec 10 01:24 CET

Two nearly simultaneous explosions rocked central Stockholm on Saturday evening, killing one person and injuring two others in what is believed to be a suicide attack.

The fatal blast occurred just minutes after a car exploded on another nearby street sending two people to hospital.

Roughly ten minutes before the explosions, Swedish news agency TT received an email telling Muslims in Sweden and Europe it was "time to take action".

Sveriges Television (SVT) reported that both explosions, which occurred about 200 metres from one another, were part of a suicide attack in the Swedish capital.

Writing from his Twitter account shortly after midnight on Saturday night, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt referred to the incident as a "terrorist attack".

"Most worrying attempt at terrorist attack in crowded part of central Stockholm," wrote Bildt.

"Failed -- but could have been truly catastrophic..." he added.

Bildt's comments, sent from his Twitter account, effectively confirmed earlier reports in the Swedish media that the two almost simultaneous explosions had been an attack.

The first blast in the car left two passers-by in need of hospital treatment for minor injuries, said emergency services spokesperson Bengt Norberg.

A second alert was received two minutes later and one person was found dead at the scene of the second blast which took place in the street, he added.

"I cannot confirm that the death is linked to the explosion of the car but I cannot deny it either," police spokeswoman Petra Sjolandero told AFP.

She added that the car caught fire "following a series of explosions which could have been from gas canisters."

Police later told the TT news agency that the car explosion was caused by cannisters containing liquefied petroleum gas.

According to the TT news agency, police are operating under the assumption that the man who died wasn’t injured in a car explosion but instead blew himself up.

The first emergency calls came in at 4.52pm on Saturday, with police fielding dozens of calls about a car exploding at the intersection of Drottninggatan and Olof Palmes gata in central Stockholm.

“We’ve received at least 50 calls to 112,” said Norberg told TT, referring to Sweden’s emergency telephone number.

Later, a man was found dead at the intersection of Bryggargatan and Drottninggatan.

A man who arrived on the scene before the police arrived told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper that the dead man had a large wound in his abdomen.

“It looked like the man was carrying something that exploded on his stomach. He didn’t have any injuries to his face or his body and the stores nearby weren’t damaged. All the windows were whole,” the witness told DN.

The body was still lying in the street at 11pm on Saturday evening as police continued their investigation.

"They are still at the scene working and at this point we have nothing new to report," police spokesperson Kjell Lindgren told TT.

A bomb squad from the Stockholm police was examining the scene following the explosion.

According to the Stockholm police, a bag was found nearby the man who died in the second explosion.

Police refused to divulge details about the bag's contents. However, several Swedish media outlets report that the bag was filled with nails.

Members of the Stockholm police force met with counterparts from Swedish security service Säpo for several hours on Saturday evening and were unavailable for comment.

Approximately ten minutes before the explosions occurred, Swedish news agency TT received an email, also addressed to Säpo, in which a reached out to “Sweden and the Swedish people”.

He cites Sweden’s silence surrounding the cartoons by Swedish Lars Vilks which portray the prophet Mohammed as a dog, the Swedish troops in Afghanistan, saying in audio files attached to the email that “now your children, daughters and sisters die like our brothers’ and sisters’ children die”.

“Our actions will speak for themselves. As long as you don’t stop your war against Islam and degrading the prophet and your stupid support of that pig Vilks,” the man said.

The man also urges all Muslims in Sweden to “stop sucking up to and degrading”. He concludes the message with yet another call to “all the mujahedeen in Europe and Sweden”.

“Now it’s time to act, don’t wait any longer. Fear no one, don’t fear prison, don’t fear death.”

Säpo hasn’t commented to TT on the contents of the message or confirmed that it also received the email, which included audio files in both Swedish and Arabic.

There is also no confirmation that the message has anything to do with the explosions.

However, Säpo later confirmed for the Aftonbladet newspaper that the agency had received the same email that was sent to TT.

“It came into our registry. It was handed over to our case officer for review,” Säpo spokesperson Michael Gunnarsson told the newspaper.

The audio files attached to the email don’t specify if the man belonged to any organisation. However, he does say he has been to the Middle East and that he asked his family for forgiveness for lying to them.

“I never went to the Middle East to work or earn money, I went there for jihad,” said the man.

Speaking with SVT shortly before 1am on Sunday morning, Stockholm police spokesperson Ulf Göranzon said police were still not ready to confirm that the man found dead following Saturday's blast had killed himself in a suicide attack.

"We haven't been able to ascertain how this person died, and therefore I have comment on that," he said.

In addition to investigating how the man died, police are also working on establishing his identity, Göranzon added.

He also refused to comment on the contents of the bag found next to the man, nor would he confirm whether or not the two explosions were related.

However, Göranzon admitted that police were "thinking along those lines" in part because the explosions took place so close to one another.


Man sprängde sig själv i Stockholm
Publicerad: 11 december 2010, 21.35. Senast ändrad: 11 december 2010, 23.41
2010-12-11 21:35:35


En man sprängde sig själv mitt i julruschen i centrala Stockholm. Med några minuters mellanrum inträffade två explosioner i city. En bil i korsningen Olof Palmes gata och Drottninggatan började brinna kraftigt. Kort därefter small det på Bryggargatan........................

Rough Translation :

Man blew himself up in Stockholm

Published: December 11, 2010, 21:35. Last modified: December 11, 2010, 23:41
2010-12-11 21:35:35

A man blew himself up in the middle of the Christmas rush in central Stockholm. There were two explosions a few minutes apart in the city. A car at the intersection of Olof Palme Street and Queen Street began to burn vigorously. Shortly thereafter, an second bang on Bryggargatan.

The first explosion was heard 16:49. A car was in flames on Olof Palme street, right on Queen Street that was full of people holiday shopping. A few minutes later, at 17 o'clock, a loud bang was heard from Bryggargatan at the corner of Queen Street. One man remained lifeless in the snow.

SvD's photographer Magnus Hjalmarson-Neideman came to Bryggargatan at 17:05 and saw the man lying on his back outside the store Scorett. A Drainpipe that sat on the wall of the shop was broken in the snow and there was soot on the wall where it sat. Beside the man was a red backpack. According to Aftonbladet, the man wore six interconnected pipe bombs. Only one exploded.

A Police bomb team was sent later to the site, and large parts of Stockholm city was sealed off.

Stockholm police told TT that the man who died in appears to have blasted himself.

About ten minutes before the explosions an email arrived at TT, which also was addressed to the Security Service. The sender appealed to "Sweden and the Swedish people". He referred to the Swedish silence on Lars Vilks paintings, the Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan and wrote: "Now is your children, daughters and sisters die same as our brothers and sisters and children are dying."

- Our actions will speak for themselves. As long as you do not stop your war against Islam and degrading to the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks, the man said to TT.

He calls on all Muslims in Sweden to "stop suck up and humiliate you." He ends the message with an invitation to "all the mujahideen in Europe and Sweden":

- It's time to turn to, wait no longer. Come up with whatever you are although it is a knife and I know you have more than one knife to come by. Fear not, fear not a prison, do not fear death.................

article continues.... but with nothing that isn't already above, and I'm slow at reading Swedish (so I'll stop here) ;D
Video of the attack. Appears that someone had a cell phone running.  You can see the "poof" down the street.
looks like a small cloud of gas, but nothing else.


(link has an ad before the video plays)
Stockholm suicide blast a terror attack: police

Published: 12 Dec 10 10:18 CET

A spokesperson for Swedish security service Säpo labeled as a terror crime the suicide attack that shook central Stockholm on Saturday evening, leaving one person dead and wounding two others.

At a Sunday morning press conference, Säpo said it had taken over the investigation into the nearly simultaneous bombings from the Stockholm police. The investigation will be overseen by chief prosecutor Tomas Linstrand.

"We are opening an investigation into a terrorist crime under Swedish laws," Anders Thornberg, head of Säpo's security department, told a press conference, a day after the explosions targeted shoppers in the Swedish capital.

Thornberg called the incident “very serious”, although he reiterated that Säpo had no plans to raise the threat level in Sweden as a result of the attack.

“We’re now working to assess whether similar events might take place. We can’t rule it out,” he said.

He added there is “no connection” to between Saturday's attack and a bomb threat investigation Gothenburg from early November, a probe which was subsequently dropped without any charges being filed.

Saturday's attack consisted of two explosions which occurred just minutes apart shortly before 5pm local time.

In the first blast, a car exploded, injuring two passers-by who were sent to hospital with minor injuries. Police say the vehicle was filled with cannisters of liquefied petroleum gas.

A second blast occurred just minutes later about 200 metres away, killing one man. An eye witness who arrived on the scene before police told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper it appeared something had exploded on the man's abdomen.

On Sunday morning, Säpo maintained it was still “too early” to confirm whether the two blasts were related, however. The agency also refused to confirm reports that the man who died in the suicide bombing was the owner of the car destroyed in the first blast.

However, Thornberg admitted that it was one of the hypotheses Säpo is investigating.

“We can’t confirm anything yet,” he said.

A representative from the Stockholm police added that residents in the Swedish capital will likely notice an increased police presence in the coming days.

Shortly before the two explosions, which sent holiday shoppers scrambling in one of Stockholm's busiest commercial districts, Säpo and the TT news agency received an email in which the author cites cartoons by Swedish Lars Vilks which portray the prophet Mohammed as a dog as well as the Swedish military presence in Afghanistan.

The message contained an audio files in which the sender said “now your children, daughters and sisters die like our brothers’ and sisters’ children die”.

"Now it’s time to act, don’t wait any longer. Fear no one, don’t fear prison, don’t fear death," the message said.

Speaking on Sunday morning, Thornberg said it was still to early to confirm a connection between the blasts and the email, but that Säpo was investigating the matter.
Informed opinions are tenuous when based solely on several news reports (these posts, plus some others online), however a couple of things jumped out.

For various reasons (predominantly "loose lips sink ships"), al Qaeda has been having problems keeping any sort of terrorist "cells" operating in developed Western countries recently. Acknowledging security forces successes, AQ has recently called for individuals to carry out attacks, without anyone else providing support or training.

The tactics used in Stockholm seem pretty much a copy-cat of Faisal Shahzad's SUV/propane tanks attack on Times Square on 1 May 2010 (except Shahzad screwed up less, and didn't blow his own guts out  ;) ). The techniques are easily found on the internet, with both attacks being pretty inconsequential because of the chosen method's inherent shortcomings.

If this is al Qaeda's way ahead, the bad news is "lone wolf" attackers are potentially more difficult to intercept (hence AQ calling for more of these). The good news is though, that without any competent training or support, the results could continue to be just as minimal.
Islamist site identifies Stockholm bomber

Published: 12 Dec 10 23:20 CET

An Islamist website on Sunday identified the bomber behind Saturday's attacks in the Swedish capital Stockholm as Taymour Abdel Wahab and published a photograph it said was him.

"It is our brother, mujahid Taymour Abdel Wahab, who carried out the martyrdom operation in Stockholm," said the website Shumukh al-Islam, which published a photograph of a man in dark glasses and Western clothes.

The man also has a light beard and was pictured standing with his hands in his pockets with a green valley in the background.

Twin blasts rocked a shopping street in central Stockholm on Saturday, killing a man suspected of being the bomber, and wounding two others.

The website did not give any other details about the alleged bomber, such as his age or possible affiliation with any extremist group. It also did not say where the photograph was taken.

The attacks were labeled a "terrorist crime" on Sunday by Sweden's chief prosecutor.

Asked about the Al-Qaeda-linked website's claim to identify the attacker, Säpo spokeswoman Carolina Ekeus said: "We don't make any comment about the identity of the person that was found dead."

The same photo published on the website was published in Swedish newspaper Expressen on Sunday with the face blurred.

Two people were also injured in the blasts. If it is confirmed as a suicide attack, it would be the first in Sweden.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Bomber believed to be former sports student
Published: 12 Dec 10 14:52 CET

Saturday’s suicide attack in Stockholm is believed to have been carried out by a 29-year-old man from the town of Tranås in southern Sweden.

The man was the registered owner of the car that blew up minutes before the suicide attack. He is reported to have worked on the street corner on which he died, carrying a sign advertising a local fish-and-chip restaurant, according to newspaper Expressen.

Police currently believe that the man’s bomb may have detonated too early. They are currently keen to trace a man who was seen speaking to the suspected bomber just minutes before his bomb went off.

Officially, police were saying on Saturday that they did not know the identity of the bomber. But a police source told the newspaper that they were “95 percent certain” that the car owner and the suicide bomber were the same person.

Police were on Sunday reported by Swedish Radio to be searching the suspected terrorist’s apartment in Tranås.

In a message to his family contained in an audio file sent to news agency TT on Saturday, the man referred to an earlier trip to the Middle East:

“I never went to the Middle East to work or earn money. I went there for Jihad,” he said.

A Facebook page believed to belong to the man indicated that he studied Sports Therapy at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, England, graduating in 2004. He had also posted numerous videos relating to the Iraq war, the war in Chechnya and the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

His favourite pages on Facebook included ‘Yawm al-Qiyaamah’, the Islamic ‘Day of Ressurection’. The page’s signature image features London’s Tower Bridge being engulfed in flames and floods. Another favourite page was ‘Islamic Caliphate State’.

The man is also thought to have been active on Muslim contact sites, where he claimed to be looking for a second wife. In one message on the site Muslima.com, he says that he was born in Iraq and moved to Sweden in 1992. He said he had two daughters, one aged 3 and one under the age of 2. He said he wanted to marry again and that his first wife had agreed to this.

“In the future, am looking for to move to an arabic [sic] country and settle down there,” he wrote.

Investigators will be certain to investigate the man’s connections with Luton, a town which has featured in numerous terror investigations in the past. A leaked British intelligence report from 2008 identified Luton, just north of London, as being home to one of the main concentrations of Islamic extremists in the country.

The men behind the 2005 bombings of London’s public transport system gathered in the town before heading into the British capital. The leader of the gang, Mohammed Sidique Khan, was in regular contact with a man in Luton known as ‘Q’, who was funneling money and equipment to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Terror attack 'could have killed hundreds'
Published: 12 Dec 10 15:54 CET
Saturday's suicide bomb attack in Stockholm could have resulted in many casualties if it had been carried out correctly, a terrorism expert told news agency TT on Sunday.

“If they were bombs meant to produce shrapnel and there had been a lot of people in the area it could have killed tens to hundreds of people, and injuring many as well,” said säger Bo Janzon, who has spent 39 years with the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut – FOI).

According to Janzon, the fact that so many windows around the blast sites remained intact indicates the explosive devices didn’t detonate properly.

“Fortunately, it seems to have been quite a failure. Windows are very brittle and should have broken directly. Most likely, only a part of the explosive device went off,” he said.

“A terrorist bomb of this type can contain between five and ten kilogrammes of explosive material. That he had nails with him indicates that his aim was to main and kill. This can give people very unpleasant injuries.”

Judging from images of the car bomb, which injured two people, the liquefied petroleum gas canisters weren’t especially large.

“The effects weren’t that big, it mostly puffed a little bit. I don’t think it could have done much damage,” added Janzon.

Man arrested over Stockholm bombing
By Michael Holden, Reuters
08 March 2011

LONDON - Scottish police said on Tuesday they had arrested a foreign national under anti-terrorism powers in connection with the botched suicide bombing in Stockholm last December.

Taymour Abdulwahab, a Swedish national of Middle Eastern descent, was killed in an attempted attack on downtown Stockholm after a bomb belt he was wearing went off prematurely.

Swedish officials believe he was preparing to attack a train station or department store at the height of the Christmas shopping season.

Scottish police said a 30-year-old man had been arrested in Glasgow under the Terrorism Act over the incident, following an intelligence-led operation.

“It’s in connection with an incident in Sweden which was in Stockholm, a car bomb incident,” a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said.

She said the arrested man was alleged to have been involved in “aiding terrorist activity””outside Scotland. “There’s no kind of evidence to suggest there’s a direct threat to Scotland,” she said.

The police did not give the man’s name or nationality.

“The investigation so far shows there could be a link between the arrested person and the terrorism crime in Stockholm on Dec. 11, something which further investigation in Scotland will have to make clear,” Swedish security police said in a statement.

In January, the director of Iraq’s anti-terrorism unit said Abdulwahab, who lived in Sweden in the 1990s, had received explosives training in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Abdulwahab studied at a university in Luton in Britain where he was believed to have become radicalised.

The Stockholm bombing was the latest in a string of attacks dating back to the 1990s by young Islamists educated in Britain, prompting critics to say London has failed to do enough to tackle extremism.