FBI bomb experts heading to Stockholm

The US agency FBI is sending seven bomb experts to Sweden to help investigate the weekend suicide attack claimed by an Islamist group, Sweden's intelligence agency said Monday.

The suicide bomber caused the twin blasts in a busy area of downtown Stockholm Saturday evening, in an attack probably meant to wreak carnage among Christmas shoppers.

“The FBI is sending a group of seven experts to Sweden,” Säpo spokeswoman Sara Kvarnström told AFP.

“From what I understand, they offered their help after Saturday’s events and we said yes.”

Speaking with the TT news agency, Swedish justice minister Beatrice Ask welcomed the FBI’s offer.

“This is a good example of how international police cooperation works,” she said.

“It’s especially important for a small country like Sweden that doesn’t have all the expertise.”

The FBI group heading to Sweden includes specialists in tracing explosives and who have knowledge of the methods terrorists have used in other bombings around the world.

“It’s incredibly valuable knowledge,” said Ask.

Islamic website Shumukh al-Islam named Taimour Abdulwahab as the attacker, saying he had “carried out the martyrdom operation in Stockholm.”

A Swedish prosecutor said investigators were almost sure it was the same man.

In messages before the blasts, the bomber said he targeted Sweden over its military presence in Afghanistan and support of artist Lars Vilks, who drew the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007.

British and Norwegian authorities had also offered to help in the investigation, Ask told TT.


Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”.