Stockholm bomb suspect appears in UK court

A 30-year-old man arrested in Glasgow in connection with a suicide bombing in Stockholm in December appeared in a British court on Monday charged with terrorism offences.

Ezedden Khalid Ahmed Al Khaledi, 30, was arrested in the Scottish city of Glasgow last week as part of the investigation into Taimour Abdulwahab, the 29-year-old Iraqi-born man who blew himself up in Stockholm on December 11th.

“A man named as Ezedden Khalid Ahmed Al Khaledi, born 11 November 1980, appeared in private on petition at Glasgow Sheriff Court,” a police spokesperson said.

She said he was charged under sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which relate to using money or property for terrorist purposes and fundraising.

Al Khaledi was also charged under sections of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 that deal with dishonest representations and the reporting of sham marriages, two fraud offences in Britain from early 2010 and an offence under the Identity Cards Act 2006 which deals with the possession of false documents.

Scotland’s STV reported that the man is a nursing student at North Glasgow College and said his alleged offences including pretending to be a Kuwaiti national and by deception seeking asylum in Britain.

Police said when he was arrested that Al Khaledi was a foreign national but they refused to comment further on his nationality Monday.

“He made no plea or declaration, the case was continued for further examination,” the spokeswoman said, adding that bail was denied.

British authorities had been investigating any links to the Swedish attack — the country’s first suicide bombing — following the revelation that Abdulwahab had lived and studied near London.

Abdulwahab, a 29-year-old whose family fled from Iraq to Sweden in 1991, blew up himself and his car in a deserted side-street off of Stockholm’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfare on December 11, injuring two people.

Before the attack, he had lived in Luton, north of London. He had graduated with a degree in sports therapy from the city’s university seven years earlier.

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Suicide bomber lived off Swedish student aid

Stockholm suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab received more money from the Swedish state than from his terrorist financiers, including a 54,000-kronor ($8,550) payout made after he bled to death in his failed terror bid.

Suicide bomber lived off Swedish student aid

All told, Abdulwahab received nearly 750,000 kronor ($119,000) from the Swedish National Board for Student Aid (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN), the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

The figure is more than ten times the estimated $8,000 sum cited in a Scottish court’s conviction last year of Nesserdine Menni, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for funding Abdulwahab’s December 2010 attack in Stockholm.

The revelations come from Swedish author Mats Ekman, the author of a book on Iraqi intelligence activities in Sweden during Saddam Hussein’s rule of Iraq.

Ekman examined all of Abdulwahab’s student aid applications and payments, and discovered the Stockholm suicide bomber frequently sent certificates to CSN verifying his coursework.

“I would like to thank CSN and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” Abdulwahab wrote at the end of one of his letters to the agency.

According to Ekman’s research, Abdulwahab first applied for student aid in the late 1990s and used the money he received from the Swedish agency to fund his studies in Luton, England, the place where the Iraqi-born Swede is believed to have became inspired by militant Islamism.

It remains unclear what happened to the 54,000 kronor sent by CSN to Abdulwahab two days after he died in the December 2012 suicide bomb attack in a busy shopping district in central Stockholm.

After Abdulwahab’s death, CSN subsequently wrote off 670,000 kronor of his student loan debt.

Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström continues to investigate the suicide bomb attack but refused to speculate on how much money Abdulwahab may have spent or whether Swedish student aid money may have been used to buy materials used in the bomb attack.

Hilding Qvarnström is expected to present her investigation some time in the spring.

The revelations may also lead to changes in how CSN deals with outstanding debts when someone dies with outstanding dues.

“This has been a real eye-opener for us,” CSN spokesman Klas Elfving told DN, adding that the payment was authorized on December 9th, prior to Abdulwahab’s death.

The Local/dl

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