Stockholm belt bomb was live – police

Stockholm police said on Monday that the belt bomb worn by a 29-year-old man this weekend during a six-hour drama with police in a Stockholm suburb contained live explosives.

Bomb technicians are continuing to work on the device to figure out how it works.

A man in his thirties was arrested on Sunday night after police removed the device from the man in Tensta. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of several more people.

The drama started on Sunday morning when the 29-year old called the police to say he had explosives tied around his waist. He said his kidnappers had threatened to detonate the bomb with a remote control. He said he had been locked in an apartment for several days but had managed to escape.

Police officer Diana Sundin was one of the first officers on the scene. She said the man was sitting on the ground in a car park.

“I spoke to him and judged that he was credible,” she said.

“He was calm given the circumstances, but was sweating profusely. When I saw the suspected bomb I thought that it looked like it was live, and backed away slowly,” she said.

A large police team was called to the scene, and an area with a 400 metre radius was sealed off. The E18 motorway was sealed off in both directions and people in nearby houses were evacuated to Spånga sports field.

Bomb disposal experts found the apartment where the man claims to have been held. It contained material that could give clues as to what the belt contained.

It took six hours for police to remove the suspected bomb from the man. The belt was then taken from the scene.

A man in his thirties was arrested in Tensta on Sunday evening, suspected of kidnapping.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of several further suspects. Police would not say how many people they were looking for.

“But it is more than one,” said Bengt Kihlberg at Stockholm Police on Monday morning.

One man, said to be in his fifties, was also being hunted by police on Sunday evening.

Police say they will not know whether the bomb was live until Tuesday.

“We need to find out whether it was live. Then we need to find out whether it was primed in such a way that it was possible to explode it,” said Kihlberg.

“Our duty forensic experts have been busy on various jobs during the Midsummer weekend, so we don’t know whether this can be done on Monday.”

The 29-year old was taken to hospital to be treated for shock, and was expected to be questioned by police on Monday.

Police have not revealed exactly what happened in the apartment and why the man was threatened. The man is originally from Norway, but has lived in Sweden for several years. He is known to police but they say he has no previous convictions for serious crimes.