In today's Front Page, I ask the burning question: why Sweden?
Why did Islamic jihadist Taimour Abdulwahab Al-Abdaly, the suicide bomber who killed himself on a major street in Stockholm on Saturday, decide to target Sweden, of all places -- one of the most benign multiculturalist welfare states on a continent full of them?
For even though no one was killed, that was apparently only because al-Abdaly didn't set off his bomb at the intended time or place. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the bombing was a "most worrying attempt at terrorist attack in crowded part of central Stockholm," and noted that it "failed -- but could have been truly catastrophic."
And certainly that seems to have been the intent. In an audio file in Arabic and Swedish that was sent to TT, the Swedish news agency, about ten minutes before Al-Abdaly detonated his bomb, the unidentified speaker exhorted "all Mujahadeen in Europe and Sweden" to act: "Now is the time to strike, don't wait any longer. Step up with whatever you have, even if it is a knife, and I know you have more than a knife. Fear no one, fear not prison, fear not death."
Why would an Islamic jihadist want to unleash catastrophic mass-murder upon mild, sclerotic, socialist old Stockholm? Reuters  had a ready answer: the same audio file, it reported, "threatened retaliation for Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan."
Ah. So if Sweden withdrew its military personnel from Afghanistan, no more jihad would be waged against it, right? That is certainly an assumption often taken for granted by Western analysts on both the Left and the Right: Islamic jihadists are provoked by our presence in their countries, and if we just left them alone, they'd leave us alone.
It is a comforting notion, at least to those who are so supine and addicted to their comfort that they'll sacrifice their freedom for it, but unfortunately for them, there was more in that audio file.
"Our acts will speak for themselves," said the message, "as long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks."
"The pig Vilks" is the Swedish cartoonist who drew the dog Muhammad: taking umbrage at the threats and murders of innocent people that followed the publication of cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, Lars Vilks published his own cartoon of Muhammad as a dog with a human head. Islamic supremacists have put Vilks high on their hit list; last spring, he was attacked while he was giving a talk in Uppsala, and jihadists also tried to burn his house down....