“We did not know and were not aware of his criminal plans. We feel no sorrow. We are not sad about his death. Quite the opposite,” Ali Thwany wrote in a statement to several media outlets, including the Expressen daily, which published it on its website.
Thwany’s son-in-law, Taimour Abdulwahab, is strongly believed to have been Saturday’s bomber, although police have yet to officially identify the man who first blew up his car and later himself near a crowded pedestrian street in central Stockholm.
He was carrying a cocktail of explosives and police suspect he may have left the crowd of Christmas shoppers due to a problem with the bombs when he mistakenly set off a small charge while standing in an empty side-street.
The bomber was the only person to die, but two people were slightly injured when his car exploded minutes earlier about 300 metres away.
“My daughter Mona has been tricked into living with him. She did not know her husband was a criminal, or about his hidden and open intentions. I count his departure as the door to freedom for my daughter. Now she can be free from the brainwashing of terrorism,” Thwany wrote.
Reports have said Abdulwahab arrived in Sweden as a child from Iraq and could have become radicalised in Britain, where he attended university and lived for the last few years with his wife Mona and three children.
“With his action, he denies all the good he has received from Sweden, Sweden which took us in [and] has given us what no Arab or Muslim country has given us,” Thwany lamented.
“We distance ourselves from him, and we have no connection to him in any way. Everything that has happened, he is personally responsible for,” he said, stressing though that “an unknown group has brainwashed him and tricked into this.”
Investigators are busy seeking to determine whether the bomber, whom they suspect aimed “to kill as many people as possible,” had accomplices.