Sweden: Al-Qaeda claims target was cartoon newspaper, Hizb ut-Tahrir link

Sweden: Al-Qaeda claims target was cartoon newspaper, Hizb ut-Tahrir link

Cartoon newspaper targeted

AP reports (DA) that according to the Shumokh al-Islam site, Taimour Abdul Wahab Al-Abdaly intended to blow up a Swedish newspaper for publishing the Lars Vilks Muhammad cartoon.

The cartoon was originally printed by Nerikes Allehanda in 2007, and after Vilks got death threats, was reprinted by Expressen, Dagens Nyheter and Sydsvenska Dagbladet. The site did not name the paper that al-Abdaly intended to target.

The site also says that one of the gas-cylinders in the car, which was filled with explosives, went off prematurely. The bomber then tried to free, and accidentally detonated one of the bombs her was carrying.

Security services are trying to track down (SE) the person who published al-Abdaly's name and picture on the Shumukh al-Islam site before his identity was officially announced.

Signs of accomplice

Swedish newspaper Expressen reports that there are several indications (SE) that al-Abdaly had an accomplice. According to the Daily Telegraph, somebody coughs in the background of al-Abdaly's threat audio. Al-Abdaly is thought to have recorded the threats on his mobile.

In addition, according to the pictures, one of the objects found next al-Abdaly's body is a walkie-talkie. This might have been used to detonate the bombs, or to stay in touch with an accomplice. It's easier to set up a detonation system using a walkie-talkie, but the range is limited to a few hundred meters.

Inspired by 'Inspire': Explosives, bullets, pressure-cooker

Aftonbladet reports that, S├Ąpo, the Swedish Security Service, think they know (SE) where al-Abdaly got the explosives.

Al-Abdaly had a bomb in a pressure cooker in the car, a tip explained in al-Qaeda's online Jihad magazine, Inspire.

The security services also discovered al-Abdaly had twice as many explosives as they originally thought. In addition, besides carrying nails, Al-Abdaly also carried bullets, which police found spread out over a large area after the explosion.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Dagens Nyheter (h/t Mit Sverige) spoke with Tariq Rasul, head of the Muslim College in Luton, who met al-Abdaly in 2004, when he was learning for his MA in the same university as al-Abdaly. He says that in 2004 al-Abdaly started going around with a guy in Hizb ut-Tahrir and became more extreme as a result.

Mustafa Taji, spokesperson for Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the UK, denies that al-Abdaly was a member of the organization.

Al-Abdaly was married to Mona Thwany. The Daily Mail interviewed Mona's grandmother, Maria Nedelcovici, who says that Mona became a fanatical Muslim after the 9/11 attacks, and that she then radicalized her husband.