Sweden had its first brush with what police is now treating as a likely terrorist attack. A suspected bomber injured two people and then killed himself in central Stockholm on December 11. The Security Service is now investigating the two blasts that occurred a few hundred meters apart and close to a street crowded with Christmas shoppers at about 5 p.m. local time.

The first blast set a car on fire, the second killed the suspect and injured two people. “There has been a perception that it probably doesn’t happen here and it wouldn’t target us,” said Magnus Ranstorp, research director at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College in Stockholm, by telephone yesterday.


“Now we have crossed the threshold, we have crossed a new line.” Shortly before the explosions, police and a Swedish news agency received an e-mail with recordings in Swedish and Arabic from a man who said it was “time to strike” because a “war was being waged against Islam.” In the recording, the suspect expresses anger against Vilks and the Afghan deployment, Expressen said. He apologizes to his family for lying about his trips to the Middle East, saying he went “for Jihad.”

The UK’s Guardian newspaper identified the suspect as Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi-born Swede who obtained a Bachelors of Science in sports therapy from the University of Bedfordshire in 2004.