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Suicide bomber lived off Swedish student aid

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Suicide bomber lived off Swedish student aid
10:18 CET+01:00
Stockholm suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab received more money from the Swedish state than from his terrorist financiers, including a 54,000-kronor ($8,550) payout made after he bled to death in his failed terror bid.

All told, Abdulwahab received nearly 750,000 kronor ($119,000) from the Swedish National Board for Student Aid (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN), the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

The figure is more than ten times the estimated $8,000 sum cited in a Scottish court's conviction last year of Nesserdine Menni, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for funding Abdulwahab's December 2010 attack in Stockholm.

The revelations come from Swedish author Mats Ekman, the author of a book on Iraqi intelligence activities in Sweden during Saddam Hussein's rule of Iraq.

Ekman examined all of Abdulwahab's student aid applications and payments, and discovered the Stockholm suicide bomber frequently sent certificates to CSN verifying his coursework.

"I would like to thank CSN and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year," Abdulwahab wrote at the end of one of his letters to the agency.

According to Ekman's research, Abdulwahab first applied for student aid in the late 1990s and used the money he received from the Swedish agency to fund his studies in Luton, England, the place where the Iraqi-born Swede is believed to have became inspired by militant Islamism.

It remains unclear what happened to the 54,000 kronor sent by CSN to Abdulwahab two days after he died in the December 2012 suicide bomb attack in a busy shopping district in central Stockholm.

After Abdulwahab's death, CSN subsequently wrote off 670,000 kronor of his student loan debt.

Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström continues to investigate the suicide bomb attack but refused to speculate on how much money Abdulwahab may have spent or whether Swedish student aid money may have been used to buy materials used in the bomb attack.

Hilding Qvarnström is expected to present her investigation some time in the spring.

The revelations may also lead to changes in how CSN deals with outstanding debts when someone dies with outstanding dues.

"This has been a real eye-opener for us," CSN spokesman Klas Elfving told DN, adding that the payment was authorized on December 9th, prior to Abdulwahab's death.

The Local/dl

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