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STOCKHOLM SUICIDE BOMBING
Government staff knew of bomb threat: report

Government staff knew of bomb threat: report

Published: 19 Jan 2011 16:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Jan 2011 16:51 GMT+01:00

Citing several sources with knowledge of the ongoing investigation of the bomb attacks carried out by Taimour Abdulwahab, Swedish tabloid Expressen reported that an employee at a government agency knew in advance about the attack.

The day following the December 11th attacks, Swedish news agency TT reported that an Armed Forces employee had sent a warning to an acquaintance several hours before the bomb attack.

In the message, the military staffer warned the acquaintance to avoid Stockholm's main pedestrian shopping street.

"If you can, avoid Drottninggatan today. A lot could happen there...just so you know," the message said, according to TT.

Following an internal investigation carried out by the Military Intelligence and Security Service (Militära underrättelse- och säkerhetstjänsten -- MUST) the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) dismissed the allegations, Expressen reported on Wednesday.

Säpo, which is still investigating the reports, said it never received a warning. Despite the denial, Säpo is continuing its own investigation into the allegations.

"This information is contained in the investigation into the events on December 11th," Säpo spokesperson Sirpa Franzén told Expressen.

According to the newspaper, Säpo believes the warning to have come from an employee at another Swedish agency who received information about the impending attack.

Franzén declined to comment on the allegations to Expressen.

TT's editorial chief Mats Johansson said on Wednesday that he stood by the credibility of the agency's sources, maintaining that the warning came from someone within Sweden's Armed Forces.

Lund University professor and intelligence expert Wilhelm Agrell interprets Expressen’s report as a tentative confirmation of the initial reports.

“It indicates that there has been some sort of verification of the original information that come from TT. It’s a clarification of where the warning may have come from,” Agrell told TT.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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