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Stockholm bomb man blames asylum rejection

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Photo: Marc Femenia/TT
10:20 CEST+02:00
The man whose bomb threat shut down central Stockholm last Thursday said the move was a protest against Sweden's asylum process, after his application for refugee status was declined.
The 43-year-old who threatened several Swedish political parties on Thursday with a bomb was interviewed at an initial hearing over the weekend - and revealed that the threats were motivated by the rejection of his request for asylum in Sweden.
 
"He is dissatisfied with the decision to deport him, and simply wanted to make his voice heard," district defending lawyer Peter Nilsson stated at the hearing on Sunday. 
 
The 43-year-old arrived in Sweden about two months ago and applied for asylum, but his request was denied.
 
His lawyer stated that the man felt he was poorly treated, TT news agency reported. 
 
The man caused widespread chaos in Gamla Stan (Old Town) and surrounding areas of the city after he threatened to bomb the premises of parliamentary parties before holing up in the offices of a civil rights group.
 
After entering the offices of Civil Right Defenders in Gamla Stan on Thursday around 2pm, the man requested to speak with the manager and revealed that he had a bomb belt strapped around his waist. He demanded that police be notified of the situation and also requested to speak with a journalist and Sweden Democrats party leader Jimmie Åkesson.
 
He proceeded to "express dissatisfaction" with the parties in parliament, prompting police to cordon off the Sveavägen area where the Social Democrats have their offices as well. 
 
District prosecutor Pär Andersson said the man also claimed during Thursday's drama that he was part of a terrorist organization, and that there would be an attack on Stockholm.
 

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The bomb was later revealed to be mock-up, but the threat shut down large parts of central Stockholm as police forces tried to take control of the situation. After five hours of negotiations with police - during which the man requested cigarettes and coffee - the man surrendered. 
 
The man was remanded into custody and an initial hearing took place at the Stockholm District Court on Sunday. He has now been arrested on charges of aggravated criminal threats and false alarms, and has confessed on all accounts. 
 
Andersson plans to press charges against the man on July 8th. The minimum sentence for his crimes is six months in prison, and the maximum is four years. 
 

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