North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweden the target in mis-timed terror attack

Sweden known globally for its compassion, giving, and tolerance

Unfortunately, the scenario is now familiar. A radicalized Muslim with murderous intent, hoping to kill a maximum number of civilians in the name of Allah. The unexpected component of the story is that the target was Sweden, long known for tolerance and aversion to violence.

Would-be terrorist was 28 years old, husband, and father of two young daughters

Iraq-born Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, 28, is believed to have died minutes after setting off a car bomb in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday. Two other people were hurt. A Swedish spokesperson for the government said police were now trying to work out exactly what the bomber's target had been before he blew himself up prematurely. "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.

Fireman put out burning car set off by the terrorist

A car, registered to Abdaly, containing gas canisters blew up first in a busy shopping street in the area of Drottninggatan in the evening followed minutes later by a explosion in a street several blocks away that killed the bomber.

"It is likely that something happened, that he made some kind of mistake and part of the bombs he was carrying went off and caused his death... This was during Christmas shopping in central Stockholm and he was extremely well-equipped when it came to bomb material. It is not much of a stretch to say he was going to a place with as many people as possible." Possible targets included the city's central train station or Aahlens, a popular department store, according to investigators.

Swedish shopping district during Christmas season

Investigators have since learned that Abdaly was born in Baghdad and moved to Sweden in 1992 (he would be 10 or so years old), before arriving in the UK in 2001 (around 19) to study. He had married in 2004 (22 years old) and had two young daughters.

British police have been searching Abdaly's house in Luton. His wife and children are reported to live in the UK, although their exact whereabouts are not known. Apparently, Abdaly had attended the Luton Islamic Centre but left after other members accused him of having a "distorted view" of Islam. In subsequent gathering of evidence for motive, Abdaly said Swedish military presence in Afghanistan as part of ISAF was justification for his actions.

So, a quick overview of Sweden's offensive behavior in Afghanistan. Linked to an Afghan Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mazar-e-Sharif, (in northern Afghanistan, which Sweden commands), there are currently 500 personnel, some who provide military advice to help build up and support the Afghan army, a transport aircraft unit, a medical helicopter unit, and coordinators to implement long-term assistance to Afghanistan from approximately SEK 300 million to approximately SEK 500 million within the next few years.

Police guard Abdaly's house in Britain, while searching for his wife and daughters

A BBC security analyst said the blast appeared to have been of the same relatively unsophisticated nature as recent attempted attacks in New York, Glasgow and London. Such attacks, carried out by individuals, were especially hard for the security agencies to trace and are an increasing cause for concern, he added. Abdaly was completely unknown to Swedish security services before the blasts.

Other Iraqi Swedes took a stand against terror attacks

More will no doubt emerge concerning this latest attack by Islamic extremists, it is sobering to realize that the interpreted doctrine subscribed to by such a large number of individuals treats innocent lives so lightly. Early in the rise of suicide bombers, analysts and commentators were very much agreeing with each other that this was a result of poverty, lack of opportunity, the oppression by Israel or the West, etc. That commentary is heard much less 15 years later, simply due to the number of middle class, though alienated, individuals (living in liberal democratic societies) who succumb nonetheless to the thinking.

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