Stockholm bomber: Police search house in Luton
- 13 December 2010
- From the section UK
Police are searching a house in Luton believed to be where a suspected suicide bomber lived before he detonated two explosives in Sweden.
Sweden's chief prosecutor said Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, 28, was "98% identified" as the man who died in Stockholm in the second blast.
Abdaly had three sets of explosives, and owned a car which exploded first.
No arrests have been made and no hazardous materials have been found at the Luton property, police said.
A search warrant was executed in Bedfordshire on Sunday night under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Metropolitan Police said.
It was unclear where Abdaly's wife and children were.
Earlier several newspapers, Swedish websites and an Islamist forum all named Abdaly, an Iraqi-born Swede, as the attacker.
Chief prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand told a news conference in Sweden that the body had not yet been formally identified by DNA or a close family member. He did not confirm that Abdaly was born in Iraq.
He said the bomber had probably intended to cause an explosion at the main railway station or a city centre department store.
"He had three sets of bombs and I don't think his intention was to blow himself up only," he said. "It was a failure, luckily."
Two people were injured in the second explosion.
Mr Lindstrand also said Abdaly was the registered owner of the car that exploded.
Abdaly listed himself on Muslim dating website Muslima as a physical therapy graduate from the University of Bedfordshire, formerly known as the University of Luton.
'Distorted' Islam view
A spokesman for the university said: "A student by the name of Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish national, registered in 2001 and graduated with a BSc in sports therapy from the University of Luton in 2004."
In his profile on the site, Abdaly says he was born in Baghdad and moved to Sweden in 1992, before arriving in the UK in 2001 to study.
He says he married in 2004 and had two young daughters.
"I want to get married again, and would like to have a big family. My wife agreed to this," he wrote.
The BBC's Nikki Jenkins said when Abdaly was at the Luton Islamic Centre in 2007, he was exposed by some other members for trying to present a "distorted view" of Islam.
When he was confronted by the other members he stormed out and was not seen again at the mosque, our correspondent added.
The chairman of the Islamic Centre, Abdul Qadeer Baksh, said: "We felt very uncomfortable, but we could not categorise him as a terrorist - we couldn't categorise him as somebody who was harmful because initially when we looked at what he was saying it could just have been his political views, so we had to challenge his political views and hope to bring him back to the right path.
"Only when we try many, many, many times and realise we're failing then we bring it to another level and expose them publicly."
Richard Howitt, the MEP for Eastern, which includes Luton, said there was possibly a "breakdown of communication" regarding intelligence about Abdaly, but the mosque was right "to chuck him out".
"It shows that he does not represent their views but I want to make sure that if anyone today in Luton knows about this man and has any information about any links or any accomplices should come forward to the police," Mr Howitt said.
On Saturday, the car blew up in a busy shopping street in the area of Drottninggatan at 1700 local time (1600 GMT) and the second blast occurred 10 to 15 minutes later on a street about 300m (985ft) away, Swedish police said.
They are investigating a set of e-mails sent shortly before the blasts threatening attacks because Sweden had sent troops to Afghanistan.
Sweden has 500 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as part of the international military force.
The e-mails, with MP3 audio files in Swedish and Arabic, were sent to the Swedish security service and the TT news agency.
They called for "mujahideen" - or Islamist fighters - to rise up in Sweden and Europe, promising Swedes would "die like our brothers and sisters".
They also attacked the country for caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad drawn by Swedish artist Lars Vilks.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Abdaly was bent on what he saw as revenge for a Swedish cartoon insulting the Prophet Muhammad and for the presence of Swedish troops in Afghanistan.
An Islamist website has posted a claim that he was fulfilling a pledge to the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda affiliate. However, it remains unclear where and when he became radicalised and whether he had any accomplices, our correspondent adds.
If confirmed as a suicide bombing, the attack would be the first of its kind in Sweden.