World: Terrorism in Stockholm
Thus, eventually, the news reports confirmed such was likely the case in the bombing in a Stockholm shopping district this weekend.
Some people say that terrorism is driven by poverty. In some cases that is probably so. But time and again, we find out that the individuals often had what would be considered "normal lives" but turn out to be driven by extreme ideas.
The Telegraph of UK has a profile on the Stockholm suicide bomber. Excerpt:
It emerged last night that Abdulwahab, who was due to turn 29 yesterday, is a former physical therapy student at Bedfordshire University in Luton, and that his wife and three young children still live in the town.
Tahir Hussain, 33, a taxi driver who lives nearby, said: “I used to see him around often. He didn’t say much but seemed nice. I used to see him walking with his kids.
“I was shocked when I heard what happened because I never thought he could do such a thing.”
Mr Hussain said that the couple had been living there for a year and that Abdulwahab used to go to Friday prayers at the Islamic Centre in Luton.
The BBC has an item on Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly.
"He had a bomb belt on him, he had a backpack with a bomb and he was carrying an object that has been compared to a pressure cooker. If it had all blown up at the same time, it would have been very powerful," he said.
A car containing gas canisters blew up first in a busy shopping street in the area of Drottninggatan at 1700 local time (1600 GMT) followed minutes later by a explosion in a street about 300m (985ft) away that killed the bomber.
Abdaly was named as the registered owner of the car.
Mr Lindstrand said Abdaly was completely unknown to Swedish security services before the blasts.
However, he pointed out: "He didn't live in Sweden; he lived in the UK. He left Sweden maybe 10 years ago."
The UK Guardian reported that the bomber clashed with some of the leaders of the Mosque he was attending.
Qadeer Baksh, chairman of Luton Islamic centre, said Abdaly showed up at the mosque during Ramadan in 2006 or 2007 and made an instant impression with his "very bubbly character" but they soon clashed over his views.
"We were challenging his philosophical attitude to jihad," said Baksh. "He got so angry that he left. He was just supporting and propagating these incorrect foundations [of Islam], so I stepped in."
He said Abdaly believed scholars of Islam were "in the pocket of the government" and proposed a "physical jihad".
Baksh said he thought he had talked Abdaly round to a more moderate position but the Iraqi-born Swede then came back with more arguments. "I had no idea it would escalate to where it escalated," said Abdaly. "I thought that when he stormed off he was just angry at me. I heard afterwards that he was criticising the mosque in general and me in particular at the university. He said we were working for the British government and that we were in the pocket of Saudi Arabia. He was trying to defame our honour."
Despite the clashes, Baksh said it was not for him to report Abdaly to the police or security services. "It's the police's job, the intelligence service's job to follow these people up, not ours," he said. "You can't just inform on any Muslim having extreme views. In the past many Muslims have had extreme views but have become good balance Muslims."
I have visited Stockholm on three occasions and on each of those trips, I walked around that shopping district where the bomber struck. And that is what terrorists want to do: to bring fear into day-to-day life and to kill the infidel (unbeliever).
In our interconnected world, it is getting harder and harder to think of the terrorist problem as being "somewhere else." All it takes is a motivated individual to strike. And at the same time, organized terrorists bands plot for dramatic attacks to maximize death and chaos.
They love death as much as we love life so they believe we will cower in fear.
We do love life but we will not cower in fear.