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'No evidence bomber belonged to al-Qaeda'

TT/The Local/dl · 7 Dec 2011, 14:42

Published: 07 Dec 2011 14:42 GMT+01:00

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The 28-year-old Abdulwahab blew himself up on December 11th, 2010 in central Stockholm. He was killed after one of the many charges he was carrying exploded after he made several unsuccessful attempts to detonate the explosives.

In a Wednesday press conference, investigators attempted to provide details about the hours leading up to the attack.

"This is an attack that we think was meant to be of much greater scope than what it turned out to be," prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström told reporters, according to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

According to investigators, Abdulwahab was alone from the time he left his home in Tranås in central Sweden until he ended up dead on a Stockholm street several hours later.

The car he drove to Stockholm was also set alight in conjunction with the attack.

In the vehicles charred remains, investigators found an unexploded bomb fashioned from a pressure cooker. A similar type of bomb was found on Abdulwahab's body, but never exploded. A walkie-talkie was also recovered from the burned out car.

Swedish security service Säpo said that Abdulwahab likely meant to start a fire and then detonate a bomb with the walkie-talkie.

“Something also went wrong in this case,” Säpo deputy head Anders Thornberg told reporters, according to the TT news agency.

Based on the investigation's findings thus far, there is nothing to indicate that Abdulwahab had any accomplices present at the site of the attack.

“Nothing points to anything else. We are still working on the question of whether or not he received financial or economic support,” said Säpo head Anders Danielsson.

Hilding Qvarnström emphasized that a lot of work remains in the probe and that much is dependent on cooperation with other countries.

Surveillance footage shows how Abdulwahab walked from his car along Drottninggatan, a busy pedestrian thoroughfare filled at the time with holiday shoppers.

He can be seen walking back toward the car, which was parked on the adjacent Bryggargatan, to check on the bomb which refused to explode.

“The bombs themselves weren't all that complex,” said Hilding Qvarnström.

During the press conference, investigators showed films of test explosions of bombs similar to the one made by Abdulwahab, demonstrating how powerful it could have been if fully detonated.

"What we can say is that there were a lot of people on Drottninggatan at the time. We can only imagine what could have happened; how many could have been killed," said Hilding Qvarnström.

Abdulwahab was carrying approximately four kilogrammes of explosives in a pressure cooker attached to his midsection.

He was also carrying a backpack which contained another pressure cooker and nine additional kilogrammes of explosives.

In the attack, only a portion of the explosives Abdulwahab carried on his stomach exploded.

According to investigators, Abdulwahab had the bomb fastened to his stomach when he left Tranås. Surveillance footage from a petrol station showed something protruding from underneath his clothes.

On the approach to Drottinggatan, Abdulwahab may have taken a wrong turn because faulty coordinates had been entered in his GPS, causing him to arrive later than planned.

Danielsson said that there is no solid evidence indicating that Abdulwahab was a member of al-Qaeda.

A Scottish probe into an alleged accomplice, Nasserdine Menni, indicates that some terror network may have been behind the attack.

Story continues below…

According to Scottish investigators, Menni and Abdulwahab knew each other since 2003 and had been planning their actions for years.

Menni assumed false identities, misled immigration authorities and banks, and opened several accounts starting in 2005.

Up until 2010, he directed at least 60,000 kronor ($9,000) to Abdulwahab. Another person received around 10,000 from Menni.

In the summer of 2009, Abdulwahab traveled to Syria and Iraq for terrorist training.

He had originally come to Sweden in the early 1990s before moving to the UK in 2001 to study in Luton, which is where he met Menni.

Three weeks prior to the Stockholm suicide bombing, Abdulwahab returned to Sweden, bought a car and bomb-making supplies.

He placed a telephone call to Iraq and received a call from Iraq on the day of the attack, when he also tried to call Menni.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:41 December 7, 2011 by Carbarrister
Danielsson said that there is no solid evidence indicating that Abdulwahab was a member of al-Qaeda.

What was he looking for? An al-Qaeda identification card? Unfortunately the chap was radicalized and probably al-Qaeda "inspired." I am just glad he only blew himself up.
16:14 December 7, 2011 by Abe L
It really doesn't matter, he's a terrorist who committed a terrorist act. He deserves the death penalty, but since Sweden doesn't enforce that he should get life with solitary confinement. No need to give it any further attention.
16:26 December 7, 2011 by Rishonim
Abe L. He already got the death penalty. The Karma Police took care of that. He blew himself up
16:32 December 7, 2011 by eppie
He should get a darwin award this guy (which is funny because something tells me he didn't believe in evolution)
17:10 December 7, 2011 by tgolan
Islamist but that What are the Swedish authorities looking for? To prove that he wasn't a Muslim Islamist but evidence that he was an islarali, now that would make the power who rule Sweden very happy, They just can't admit that Islamic terror exists.
19:32 December 7, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
'Membership of al-Qaeda' is a red herring frankly. I mean, a UK government investigation couldn't determine that the July 2005 London bombers were 'al-Qaeda' either - but they still likely did it
19:37 December 7, 2011 by big5
Why fixate on "al Qaeda"? There are plenty of other militant islamist networks doing online recruiting and providing training these days.
20:53 December 7, 2011 by wxman
I agree with others here. Who cares who he is, or is not affiliated with? He's a terrorist representing a ROP that is bound and determined to kill as many Westerners of other religions as is humanly possible. Take them all out. End of story.
23:27 December 7, 2011 by GLO
The security force is not on line with whats going on. You have to be kidding! Who cares what name of what terrorist group he was directed by. They are all linked by a common goal. Get used to this its just starting, get with it Sweden. This is the big time. They want to kill you all.....
04:49 December 8, 2011 by ericrufinosiah
Is there any difference,if he was affiliated with Al-Qaeda or not to the ordinary man

on the street.?
05:46 December 8, 2011 by muscle
lol :) just wondering what the hell the audience in the pic trying to figure out with that picture ?
09:48 December 8, 2011 by RobinHood
SÄPO really need to read a book on how al-Qaeda operate. There are is no membership structure. You simply adopt the values of al-Qaeda, and work towards its aims, and your in.

What SÄPO should have said was there is no evidence of al-Qaeda logistical support.
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