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Stockholm bombing: Why was Sweden targeted?
The Scandinavian country is rattled by its first suicide bombing. What have the Swedes done to provoke Islamic terrorists?
Swedish police patrol the Drottninggatan shopping street in Central Stockholm, near the site where an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen lost his life in an alleged suicide bomb incident.
Swedish police patrol the Drottninggatan shopping street in Central Stockholm, near the site where an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen lost his life in an alleged suicide bomb incident.
Corbis
W

hat appear to be a pair of terrorist bomb blasts killed one person — allegedly the bomber — and injured two bystanders in Stockholm over the weekend, badly shaking a nation that has long considered itself safely removed from such threats. "I know things like this happen," Stockholm schoolteacher Anna Eriksson told Time, "but I never thought it could happen here." A prosecutor identified the suspected suicide bomber as Taimour al-Abdaly, 28, an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen believed to have turned to radical Islam while studying in Britain. Why would terrorists go after Sweden? (See footage of the blasts' aftermath)

Sweden has a small presence in Afghanistan: "Sweden may not be in NATO," says Tim Marshall in Sky News, "but it does have 500 troops in Afghanistan." That alone is enough to earn a spot on "the terrorist target list." Meanwhile, a voicemail left for authorities a few minutes before the blast suggested the attacks were meant to punish Swedes for supporting cartoonist Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a dog in 2007.
"Why Sweden?"

Sweden's immigration policies got it into trouble: Sweden, that politically correct "socialist paradise," may have opened the door to terrorists, says Ethel C. Fenig in American Thinker. The country has recently "added thousands of new citizens from Arab lands who have repaid their hosts by making their areas no-go zones for Swedish police, recreating their culture and civilization at Swedish expense..." And "now this." This attack was Sweden's "first jihad terrorist attack," but it won't be its last.
"We must hold fast to our values in the face of terror"

The real problem is in Britain: This is "yet another unwelcome reminder of how Britain has become a safe-haven for would-be suicide bombers," says Con Coughlin in Britain's Telegraph. The suspect studied for several years in a British town known as a "major recruiting ground for Islamist terrorists," yet "traveled freely" to and from the Middle East for terrorist training. The British government needs to "wake up" and realize it has a "serious problem" on its hands.
"Another Muslim suicide bomber slips through Britain's security net"

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