The Guardian reports that British police on Monday continued to search the Luton home of Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi-born Swede, suspected in the attack Saturday in Stockholm, which took his life.
Although authorities have not yet named Mr. Abdaly as either the attacker or the victim in Saturday's bombings in Stockholm, Swedish and British newspapers have widely reported that he is believed to be the man responsible for the attacks, which injured two people. The Guardian writes that Abdaly, who attended the University of Bedfordshire in 2004, was married with children and still has family in Luton, though his neighbors say they haven't seen him for two and a half weeks.
The British newspaper cites the Swedish press quoting Abdaly's family. "He did not say where he was going," his father told Swedish newspaper Expressen. "The whole family is in shock, and wants to find out what happened."
The Daily Telegraph spoke with a taxi driver who lived nearby Abdaly. "I used to see him around often. He didn't say much but seemed nice. I used to see him walking with his kids," said taxi driver Tahir Hussain, 33. "I was shocked when I heard what happened because I never thought he could do such a thing."
BBC News adds in a video report that Swedish police are also searching a home in Sweden where Abdaly used to live with his father. The BBC also notes that Abdaly had previously attended the Luton Islamic Centre Mosque, but broke with the mosque after some members confronted him over the "distorted view" of Islam he advocated.
Although Swedish officials have not named Abdaly as a suspect, The New York Times reports that Anders Thornberg of the Swedish security police indicated that investigators “now have a clearer idea about” the suspected bomber. Mr. Thornberg also hinted that the bomber worked alone. This strongly indicates Abdaly was responsible, as Swedish newspapers traced the license plate of the car involved in the attacks to Abdaly.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Abdaly is also thought to be the man who sent a text and audio message to Swedish police and the Swedish newspaper Tidningarnas Telegrambyra, warning of attacks on Sweden. The Telegraph posted a portion of the audio message online, in which the speaker in fluent English demands an end to aggression against "the Islamic state" by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and that Swedes "stop your drawings of our prophet Muhammad," an apparent reference to Swedish artist Lars Vilks' caricatures of Muhammad.
If Abdaly is in fact responsible for the attacks in Stockholm he would provide another tie between Luton and Islamist militancy. The Daily Telegraph notes that a British intelligence report leaked two years ago named Luton as one of the main concentrations of Islamist militancy in the country. Leaders of the 7/7 suicide attack in London and the failed fertilizer bombers, who where arrested in 2004, met in Luton on at least two occasions, and Islamist firebrand Abu Manza once lived in the city as well.