Car-bomb glitch saved city from mass casualties

THE suicide bomber who blew himself up amid panicked Christmas shoppers in Stockholm a year ago had also rigged a car bomb but failed to set it off remotely with a walkie-talkie.

New details from the year-long investigation showed a series of technical glitches prevented Taimour Abdulwahab from inflicting mass casualties in one of the Swedish capital’s busiest commercial areas.

The Iraqi-born Swede managed to kill only himself in the attack on 11 December.

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Anders Thornberg, deputy head of Sweden’s security service, said only some of the explosives Abudlwahab had been wearing detonated, apparently because of a problem with the trigger.

An unexploded bomb was found in the burned-out wreck of the car he had set on fire about 250 metres from the bomb site. It was hooked up to a walkie-talkie that the suicide bomber was carrying, but the remote-control mechanism failed.

Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding-Qvarnstrom said Abdulwahab might have intended to set off the car bomb as emergency crews arrived to put out the fire, and was perhaps trying to fix a problem with the explosives when they went off.