by Florian Flade
Today would have been his 29th birthday. But instead of meeting friends and family to celebrate a new year in life, Taimour A., decided to strap explosives to his body and committed a suicide bombing in the streets of Stockholm, Sweden.
The Swedish-Iraqi man, born 1981 in Baghdad, became Sweden´s first suicide bomber last night, when he detonated a car bomb (Audi 80 Avanti, registered to a “Taimour Abdulwahab”) at 4 pm and his own suicide vest just minutes later, containing several pipes filled with explosives. Apart from the bomber himself, no other person died in the failed attacks, yet two people on the streets were injured by the explosion.
Just minutes before A. blew himself up he sent an e-mail containing two audio files, to Swedish news agency TT and the police SAPO. The files were recordings of A.´s voice, explaining in Swedish and Arabic: “Now your children, daughters and sisters will die just as our brothers, sisters and children die.” Swedish police think the claim is credible and a proof that A. is the same person that carried out the bombing just minutes later in the streets of Swedish capital Stockholm.
“Now your children, daughters and sisters will die, just like our brothers, sisters, and children.
Our actions will speak louder than words. As long as you don’t stop your war against Islam, mocking the Prophet, and your stupid support for the Pig Vilks.
Now it’s time to strike, don’t wait any longer. Come forward with whatever you’ve got, even if it’s only a knife. I know you’ve got more coming up.
Don’t fear anybody, don’t fear anyone.
Apologies to my family: I never went to the Middle East for work or to make money. I went for jihad.”
Now the question is on how a 28-year old Swedish of Iraqi origin, a student of Sports Therapy who moved to Sweden in 1992 with his family, could turn to Jihadi violence without counter-terrorism officials noticing the change and danger emerging from the young man. A. was a husband and a father of two girls, 3-years and 1 1/2 years-old (and one son born in 2010) and wanted to get married to a second wife. “I would like to have a BIG family”, A. wrote on the internet searching for a new wife. His wish, A. states, was to move to an Arabic country in the near future. In 2004 A. lived in Luton (UK) and married there. He moved to the UK to study and gained a Bachelors degree in Physical therapy from Bedfordshire University in 2004. Swedish sources believe his family still resides in the UK.
At home in Sweden, A. was disappointed by Sweden´s involvement in Afghanistan and angry about Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks who drew the Prophet Muhammad as a dog years ago. Swedish society did not apologise but on the contrary celebrated freedom-of-speech and Vilks´right to do what he did – that´s why the Swedish people deserved an attack, A. apparently decided.
Russian war crimes in the Caucasus turned A. angry and aggressive, he was spreading material- mainly Youtube videos – against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars of the United States, calling them war crimes. Besides that, A. loved his iPad, the Islamic Calliphate State, documentary-channel National Geographic, Jihadi cleric Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and was “Proud to be a Muslim”.
Swedish investigators think there is probably no al-Qaeda involvement in the incident, as al-Qaeda never sent out precise warnings like A. did yesterday. The attacker seems to fit into the category of the “lone wolf”, a tactic highly promoted and encouraged by al-Qaeda. Especially the Yemeni branch of the network called for Muslims in the West to act without waiting for religious advice from the Middle East or any direct order by a Jihadi organization. Those who feel the Muslim Ummah, the religion or its prophet need to be defended in their country, are told to carry out any operation possible, al-Qaeda said.
Taimour A. is just the latest example in a long line of “lone wolves”, starting with failed Shoe-Bomber Richard Reid, the Arkansas shooter Abdulhakim, Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hassan and others. Foreign involvement is still possible as A. has visited the Middle East in March, going on vacation in Jordan. In his “martyrdom statement” sent to Swedish news agency TT, he says he is sorry for his parents who believe he want to the Middle East to study but instead went for Jihad training.