By Selah Hennessy
Police in Sweden say they believe they have identified the man who blew himself up in the country’s capital on Saturday. The man is Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who has been living in Britain for the past decade.
Sweden’s Chief Prosecutor Tomas Linstrand spoke at a press conference in Stockholm.
He said Swedish police are 98 percent sure they have correctly identified the bomber, although formal identification has not yet been carried out.
On Saturday a crowded street in Stockholm was hit with two blasts. The first set a car on fire. The second is thought to have killed the suspect and injured two people.
Prosecutor Linstrand said the bomb may have gone off earlier than planned. The bomber, he said, was very well equipped with explosives.
The man believed to have carried out the attacks is Taimour Abdulwahab. He is a Swedish citizen, but has been living in Britain for the past decade and studied at a British university.
British police have barricaded a home in Luton, north of London, which is thought to be his.
Robin Simcox from the London research organization Centre for Social Cohesion says it is no surprise the attack in Sweden has links to Britain.
“Unfortunately we see time and time again Britain’s links to al-Qaida and al-Qaida inspired terrorism,” Simcox said. “It should be no real surprise that there are links to Britain and indeed links to a British university.”
London was hit by a terrorist attack in July 2005 and a number of other global attacks have had links to Britain. In 2009 a Nigerian citizen who had studied at a British university, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted to blow up a U.S.-bound flight.
Simcox says Britain is a central hub for terror plots.
“They know that they can make contact here,” he added. “They know that there is opportunity to connect with other extremists. Unfortunately the U.K. is still an area where people interested in violent jihad can easily get together and meet others interested in a similar thing.”
An audio file sent by e-mail to the security police and a Swedish news agency shortly before the blast referred to jihad, Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan, and cartoons by a Swedish artist portraying the prophet Mohammed.