The father-in-law of the Stockholm suicide bomber on Friday denounced the 28-year-old attacker as a brainwashed terrorist who rejected "all the good" that Sweden gave him.
In a letter to Swedish newspaper Expressen, Ali Thwany said his daughter Mona was not aware that her husband, Taimour Abdulwahab, was plotting an attack, though she grew suspicious of his frequent travels.
"I hereby declare that we reject him, and we have no link to him in any way," Thwany wrote, according to the paper. "Everything that has happened is something he is personally responsible for. An unknown group has brainwashed him and lured in him into this."
Abdulwahab killed himself and injured two people Saturday when some of the bombs he was wearing exploded among panicked Christmas shoppers in downtown Stockholm.
Police suspect the explosives went off by mistake near a pedestrian street, and that he had planned to detonate them in a place where they would inflict more damage like a shopping center or train station.
In an audio message sent to the Swedish security service and the TT news agency before the explosion, Abdulwahab referred to Swedish troops in Afghanistan and a Swedish artist's drawing of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, which angered Muslims. Abdulwahab also apologized to his family for misleading them, saying "I never went to the Middle East to work or to make money, I went for jihad."
As a child, Abdulwahab and his family left Iraq for Sweden in the early 1990s but he spent much of the past decade in Britain, where he lived with his wife and three young children.
"And through his act he rejects all the good he has received from Sweden, Sweden that has received us. Sweden that gave us what no Arabic or Muslim country awarded us," Thwany wrote in the letter, which Expressen said was translated from Arabic. "We distanced ourselves from his family three years ago, with exception for a few telephone calls."
According to a resume posted online, Thwany is a 53-year-old Iraqi-born architect, who lives in a suburb of Stockholm. He didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.
Expressen said it had been in contact with Thwany and his family since the weekend.
Referring to Abdulwahab as "Taimour the terrorist," Thwany said his daughter didn't know about his activities.
"He didn't tell anything about his private life or contacts or his spectacular travels," Thwany wrote, adding "we don't feel any sorrow" over Abdulwahab's death.
"On the contrary. I count his demise as the gate to freedom for my daughter," he wrote. "Now she can be free from the brainwash of terrorism.
"She has told me that she regrets keeping silent all this time. The only thing she did wrong was that she didn't want to get involved."
Muslim leaders in Sweden condemned the attack during Friday prayers.
"We are true Muslims and a true Muslim has nothing to do with a terror act," Imam Ben Mahmoud Rahmeh told hundreds of worshippers at the Stockholm Mosque.
"Sweden is our country and its people are our people. What pleases the country pleases us. What hurts the nation hurts us," Rahmeh said.
The Islamic federation in Sweden said the text of his sermon was sent to mosques around the country as inspiration for their Friday prayers.
It remains unclear whether Abdulwahab acted alone or with accomplices.
Iraqi officials said that captured insurgents have claimed the Stockholm bombing was part of attacks being planned by al-Qaida against the U.S. and Europe during the Christmas season.
- Swedish security service
- the Middle East