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Aide to Swedish terror attack appeals sentence

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The car set alight before Abdulwahab fatally injured himself nearby. File photo: Säpo
17:21 CET+01:00
The jailed financier of Swedish-Iraqi suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab appeared in Edinburgh High Court on Thursday to appeal his seven-year sentence. His legal team appeared intent on highlighting the widow's role in the attack.

Nasserdine Menni was convicted by a lower Scottish court in 2012 for sending money to England-based Abdulwahab, who went on to kill himself in a botched terror attack during Christmas shopping in downtown Stockholm in 2010. 

The verdict argued that Menni must have known that money sent to Abdulwahab would finance his terror efforts, a claim that Menni's lawyer now wants the appeals court to look at.

"If your best friend tells you to help him by sending money, and then uses the money for terrorism, surely Scottish law doesn't say it's a crime?" defence attorney William Taylor argued in court on Thursday. The legal team has asked that the appeals court discard the guilty sentence against Menni. 

"Scottish law does not rely on 'no smoke without fire,' Scottish law demands evience. We have to draw the line somewhere," Taylor argued, before putting his case to the court in the Scottish capital that Abdulwahab's wife was implicated in the botched suicide bomb attempt.

The audio message left behind by her husband was made with software downloaded to her computer, the defence attorney noted. The message was emailed to the Swedish intelligence service Säpo alongside the national news agency TT. 

"She also destroyed three or four telephones with a hammer so their contents couldn't be reconstructed," Taylor underlined.

"The bomb in Stockholm was the work of an amateur... which makes it even more significant that the 'recipe' for exactly the kind of bomb used in Stockholm, available in a magazine, was found on the widow's computer," he said. 

Wiring from Christmas lighting found in the widow's home was used to make the bomb, the lawyer further noted. The widow was taciturn and failed to answer many questions posed to her during the first trial in Glasgow. She also said she had had no contact with Menni, the suspected financier in her husband's terror plans. 

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While Menni was not convicted of abetting a terror act, Abdulwahab called him in Glasgow several times on the date of the attack - December 11th, 2010.The sum of money transferred to the Iraqi-born Swede amounted to some 60,000 kronor ($9,200) - with a further transfer of 10,000 kronor to Abdulwahab's widow. 

No one died in the attack apart from Abdulwahab himself after his suicide belt detonated partially. Prior to the detonation, Abdulwahab set a car on fire on a nearby street before heading to shopping street Drottninggatan in central Stockholm, where he bled to death in the snow following the blast.

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