“He drank alcohol and had girlfriends.” But then in England he encountered Muslims who told him that the true and pure Islam was something different from what he had been living. Once again we see devoutness in Islam lead to jihad activity. But note also that, at least by the account of Qadeer Baksh of the Luton mosque, the bomber wasn’t “radicalized” there either. He showed up there already “radical.” So where exactly encounter the Egyptian imam referred to in this story?
“Sweden bomber ‘friendly’ immigrant turned radical,” from The Local, December 13 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
The man suspected of being the suicide bomber behind two Stockholm bombings on Saturday was described on Monday as an ordinary friendly young immigrant to Sweden who drastically changed after moving to the UK to study….
He had lived in Britain for a number of years, prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand said, adding that his wife and three children still lived there….
When he was about 10, Wahab and his family reportedly fled war-torn Iraq to settle in TranÃ¥s, population 18,000, some 200 kilometres south of Stockholm.
“From TranÃ¥s to Jihad,” said Monday’s Expressen tabloid, which published a full-page photo of a young, smiling Wahab wearing a typical Swedish high school graduation cap.
It said Wahab had grown up in “a light red house” in TranÃ¥s with his mother, father and two sisters, adding that the family had no problems adjusting to life in Sweden.
“He was just like any other young man. He loved life, he had lots of friends and was out and partied just like anyone else,” acquaintance and TranÃ¥s resident Jean Jalabian told Expressen.
“He drank alcohol and had girlfriends. It’s really strange that he would do something like that,” Jalabian said….
A former teacher told Aftonbladet the young man spoke excellent Swedish and was “an honest, friendly person with many friends.”
However, Abdel Wahab drastically changed when he left Sweden in 2001 to complete a bachelor’s degree in sports physiotherapy at the University of Luton — now the University of Bedfordshre, from which he graduated in 2004.
Wahab became interested in radical Islam in the town just north of London, where he met his wife, reportedly the same age as him and also a Swedish citizen.
“He got to know an Egyptian imman [sic] at the mosque in Luton,” a friend of the family told Expressen, adding that during his time there “he became another person. It’s hard to say how. He changed and became more restrictive.”
When he returned to Sweden in 2005, he had a beard, cut contact with his old friends and led a withdrawn life. He never settled back into Swedish life and went back to Britain, only sporadically visiting his family in TranÃ¥s.
Aftonbladet said he showed his new opinions online, posting radical religious view on the war on Iraq and calling for a boycott of Denmark on his Facebook page in Arabic.
His status updates were often prayers and he had uploaded videos with Islamist messages to his page, the tabloid said.
He was also searching for a new wife “who accepts Allah’s religion and who is not against me having another wife” on a Muslim contact website, Expressen wrote.
In November, he bought the car which he blew up on Saturday, slightly injuring two people, investigators said, after returning to Sweden a few weeks before.
In a threat he sent Swedish news agency TT and intelligence agency SÃ¤po, Abdel Wahab asked his family for forgiveness for lying to them.
“I never went to the Middle East to work or make money. “I went there for jihad. It wouldn’t have been possible to tell you who I really was. It wasn’t very easy to live the last four years with the secret of being…as you call it, a terrorist,” he said.