‘He was a normal Muslim’: bomber’s wife

The wife of the Stockholm suicide bomber said she had no idea he had become radicalised and was plotting a terror attack, in an interview out Sunday.

'He was a normal Muslim': bomber's wife

Mona Thwany, 28, said her husband Taimour Abdulwahab appeared to be a “normal Muslim” who “never revealed his secret side” to her.

The 29-year-old sports therapist blew up himself and his car in a busy Stockholm street on December 11. Two passers-by were injured.

Thwany and Abdulwahab met at university in Luton, north of London, had been married for six years and lived in the factory town with their children aged six years, four years and two months.

In his suicide message, he apologised to his family for keeping his plot secret for four years.

“Taimour was a normal person, a normal Muslim. There were no alarm bells,” she told News of the World, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper.

“He never revealed his secret side to me. Maybe it’s a cultural thing because as a Muslim wife I was not expected to pry into his life.”

Thwany denied reports that she radicalised him and said she was “never aware” that a Luton mosque asked him to leave because of his extreme views.

“Looking back, he did get more religious,” she said.

“He was a practising Muslim, praying five times a day, fasting at Ramadan and giving to charity. He distanced himself from people around him. Fewer and fewer friends came to the house.

“Then he lost contact with some of them altogether. He began to spend a lot of time on the internet. He became very private.”

She said the pair never discussed politics, though “he was angry about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan — but not unduly so.”

Abdulwahab’s family fled from Iraq to Sweden in 1991. Thwany is from Romania and has an Iraqi father.

Abdulwahab had told his wife he was going to Sweden to see relatives and she “didn’t notice anything different about him” when he left on November 19.

“A normal kiss and a hug and he went,” she said.

He sent her an MP3 sound file minutes before killing himself but thinking it would be a song, she did not listen to it. Only when Abdulwahab’s sister called to alert her to the news did she hear the recording — his suicide message.

“I started shivering… I felt disbelief, shock and fear — I was very scared.

“He never gave off any clues that he was going to blow himself up.

“Some people said Taimour is a martyr. I don’t know whether he is or he isn’t. All I can say is that I totally condemn terrorism.

“I had no knowledge that he could do anything like that. If I had known, I would have stopped him.”

Speaking of their home life, she said: “He was a good, patient father — a very helpful, hands-on dad. He loved playing with the kids in the garden, planting flowers and herbs and things.”

She said he loved birds and at one stage had 10 canaries in the house.

His only bad habit was “leaving his dirty socks around”, she said.

“I used to tell him off for that, it was his biggest fault, being untidy.”

Thwany is living in a secret location and may take a new identity.


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”.