Terror suspect had bomb manual on his mobile
Friday the trial began of a 20-year-old man from the Stockholm area who is accused of trying to build a bomb that he planned to detonate in Sweden.
The man is being accused of conspiracy to commit acts of terror. As experts and family members were set to testify, a picture emerged of a young man who had nearly all the components for a bomb and who was unable to be dissuaded about extremism.
When questioned in court the suspect denied that he was trying to build a bomb. Both of the suspect's parents refused to testify, even after they have provided incriminating testimony to police in which they described him becoming more interested in religious questions and infatuated with the Islamic State.
An expert from the Swedish Defence Research Agency who testified Friday said the materials in the man's possession could have been used to build a bomb much like that used during the attacks Boston Marathon attacks in 2013, which killed 3 civilians and injured 200. The expert said that the bomb would have been missing an explosive like gunpowder.
The Research Agency's assessment was that the 20-year-old might have built a firebomb or what is called a nail or shrapnel bomb. A firebomb might have caused serious damage in a radius of 1 to 2 meters, and a shrapnel bomb in a radius of 10 meters. Both bombs, said the expert, could cause deaths and/or serious injuries.
A prosecutor later described material that authorities found on the suspect's mobile phone. Among other things the 20-year-old had downloaded several publications of Dabiq, the Islamic State's propaganda publication, and Inspire, Al-Qaeda's newsletter.
He had also downloaded the "mujahideen guide" named "isis, How to Survive in teh West" in which there are instructions for building bombs that mention using a pressure cooker, acetone, and sulfur.
Prosecutors say they have evidence the man purchased several bottles of acetone, steel pellets, and a pressure cooker. He was also said to have searched the Internet for instructions on how to create a bomb and for terror attacks carried out by the Islamic State.
Newswire TT reported that the trial at the Attunda District Court, in the Stockholm suburb of Sollentuna, was set to began Friday morning.
Prosecutor Ewamari Häggkvist, from the unit of the Swedish Prosecution Authority that handles cases of national security, said the man was planning to carry out a suicide attack in Sweden with a home-made bomb.
A family member of the suspect allegedly told the police Security Service, Säpo, that the man had purchased steel pellets and had ground matches in order to collect the sulfur with which he could later mix with acetone to produce an explosive.
During a raid police found six bottles of acetone, duct tape, a mobile telephone of an older model, and jars of pellets. The prosecutor also has surveillance camera photos showing the man purchasing a pressure cooker in January.
The 20-year-old grew up in a well-to-do municipality north of Stockholm. He has denied that he planned to build a bomb and refused to explain why he had purchased acetone and steel pellets.
Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that the man was arrested by Säpo on February 8, but family members had sounded the alarm to police as early as June of 2015 when the man had disappeared. He was stopped in Turkey soon after and sent first to Greece. On a second trip to Turkey he was again stopped and flown directly to Sweden, accompanied by Turkish police. The prosecutor said the man intended to join the Islamic State.
When the suspect came to the attention of police, an officer who worked for the office of the National Coordinator for Protecting Democracy Against Violent Extremism tried to connect him with an imam and Muslim two youth leaders. But the man did not respond and was described by Dagens Nyheter as having a "sketchy" religious knowledge and not owning a Koran.
The man was arrested after his mother discovered the suspected bomb ingredients and called Säpo. The man's father told police that the suspect told him "I do not want to live. I have bought this stuff and am going to kill myself."