DUBAI: Bungled Stockholm suicide bomber received training in Iraq, says top security official
New developments have surfaced in the case of Taimour Abdulwahab Abdaly, a 28-year-old Iraq-born Swedish suicide bomber who died in a botched attack on central Stockholm on Dec. 11, in revenge for what he called Sweden's "war on Islam."
This weekend, Iraq's top security official Gen. Dhai Kanani told the Dubai-based pan-Arab news channel Al-Arabiya (link in Arabic) that Abdaly received explosives training for three months in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and that Iraqi authorities informed U.S. officials about a planned bombing plot in Sweden two months before Abdaly's bungled attack in the Swedish capital, which killed him and injured two others when a bomb belt he was wearing detonated prematurely.
Ten minutes before Abdaly blew himself up, he reportedly sent e-mail to SAPO, the state-run Swedish news agency, and his wife and family containing an audio message in which he, among other things, apologized to his family for lying about his trips to the Middle East.
"I went for jihad," he said in the recording.
Some radical islamist websites have also suggested that Abdaly was a member of the Al Qaeda-linked Iraqi militant group Islamic State of Iraq.
According to Kanani, Abdaly entered Iraq from Turkey and added that Iraqi authorities are currently seeking an Egyptian citizen who received training in Mosul at the same time as he did -- probably with the aim to "carry out another operation."
Wahab went under the radar of the Iraqi authorities when detained Al Qaeda members in Iraq confessed that the organization was planning to carry out attacks in the U.S. and in Western Europe. Sweden "was among the targets," the Iraqis were told.
It is unclear, however, whether Swedish authorities had been forewarned about Abdaly's attack.
SAPO, which previously has said that Abdaly was unknown to the agency, did not want to comment on the information relayed in Al-Arabiya's report, Swedish media reports say.
"We know that the information has come out in the Iraqi media, but otherwise we have no comment on it," SAPO press spokesman Michael Gunnarsson told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (link in Swedish).
-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut
Photo: Taimour Abdulwahab Abdaly. Credit: Agence France-Presse