The Swedish police announced that the bomb blasts in the capital, Stockholm, were acts of terrorism. At a press conference on Sunday morning, the Swedish Security Police (Säpo) said it had taken over the investigations of case which appeared to be a suicide bomber attack.
Two explosions rocked the city's busiest shopping areas on Saturday evening. A car packed with gas canisters exploded in the city center near Drottninggatan, and minutes later a second explosion was heard on the same street. One person was killed on the spot while two others sustained minor injuries. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, on Saturday, stated that the attack which could have been truly catastrophic had failed. He added that the threat of attack however remained most worrying.
According to local media reports the police suspect that the deceased could have been a suicide bomber and the attacks was aimed at Christmas shoppers in the area. A bag filled with nails was also allegedly found near the body of the man. Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported the dead man had a large wound to his stomach 'as if something had exploded there'.
We are opening an investigation into a terrorist crime under Swedish laws, Anders Thornberg, of the National Security Service, said.
The police are yet to release the details of the person killed. They are also yet to confirm if the car belonged to the deceased and if the attack was a suicide mission. Authorities maintained that they will not raise the threat level in Sweden as a result of the attack. For the first time in almost five years, the Swedish terror alert was raised in two months ago from low threat to elevated threat. Officials also stated that the police will now expand its presence and visibility in the city.
Shortly before the two explosions, Säpo and Sweden's TT news agency reportedly received an email warning of the attacks. The e-mail claimed that the attack was in response to the portrayal of Prophet Mohammed as a dog in cartoons by Swedish Lars Vilks the country's Swedish military presence in Afghanistan. An audio file attached to the email said, Now your children, daughters and sisters die like our brothers' and sisters' children die. A contingent of 500 Swedish soldiers is currently serving with NATO's International Security Assistance force in Afghanistan.
Punitive actions would continue as long as you do not stop your war against Islam, your degradation of the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks, the email read. It also called for the mujahideen (Islamist fighters) to rise up against Sweden and other European countries.