Radicalised Swede on trial accused of building bomb

Radicalised Swede on trial accused of building bomb
A court sketch. Picture: Johan Hallnas/TT
A radicalised Swede, who was arrested after his mother reported him to authorities, went on trial charged with terror offences on Friday after he allegedly tried to build a bomb similar to ones used in the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks.

Sevigin Aydin, a 20-year-old teaching student who acknowledged having wanted to “die a martyr”, was arrested in February by Swedish intelligence services when his mother alerted police after finding purchases by her son of equipment often used to make bombs.

Aydin, who grew up in a leafy suburb north of Stockholm, has denied any intention to carry out an attack on Swedish soil.

“I deny the charges, altogether,” Aydin said in court. “I never intended to hurt anyone or manufacture any explosive device.”

His father threw away the alleged bomb-making equipment before police arrived. Authorities did, however, have receipts for some of his purchases.

The court indictment, of which AFP obtained a copy, shows that Aydin bought six bottles of acetone – a common, highly flammable solvent often found in nail polish remover – as well as matches, steel balls, electric wire and batteries.

Components such as these can be used to make bombs similar to the ones used by attackers during the 2013 Boston Marathon attack in the US state of Massachusetts, according to expert testimony given to the Attunda District Court, north of Stockholm.

Acetone also appears in investigations into the attacks in Paris and Brussels.

When asked what he intended to use the six litres of acetone for, Aydin said: “I thought I might need it one day. It's always better to have more than less.”

Video surveillance footage also showed him buying a pressure cooker from Ikea, also a common device used in bomb making.

Investigators also seized a mobile phone. Its password was “jihad”.

Aydin made no secret of his sympathies for the jihadist Islamic State group. He wanted to leave Sweden and go to Syria to “defend women and children against the infidels”, according to the indictment. He also mentioned the possibility of a strike inside Sweden.

The student also regularly visited jihadist websites to listen to sermons and “probably” tried in June 2015 to travel to Syria via Turkey, which expelled him twice.

His mother had alerted security at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, saying that she was worried he would join the jihadists. The trial is set to last for three days.

If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.