A suspected suicide bomber was killed and two people were injured Saturday in blasts that rocked a popular shopping district in Stockholm, the Swedish capital.A car parked at a crowded intersection in central Stockholm exploded about 4:50 p.m., followed by another blast a short distance away, Swedish news media reports said. At the scene of the second explosion, a witness reported finding a young man on the sidewalk with wounds to his midsection and a Palestinian kaffiyeh-style scarf tied around his face. The man, who has not been identified, later died.
…The car that exploded had contained several gas canisters, police said. Video shows a white vehicle engulfed in flames in the late afternoon darkness.
A few minutes later, another explosion is heard nearby. A witness told Dagens Nyheter newspaper that he ran to the scene and found a badly wounded man in his 20s lying on his back on the sidewalk, with a length of pipe next to him.
“It looked as if the man had carried something that exploded on his stomach. … My first thought was that the man was a terrorist,” said the witness, who identified himself only as Pascal. “His chest moved a couple of times, but I couldn’t get a pulse. I removed a Palestinian scarf from his face … but it was too late.”
Two people suffered minor injuries, although it was unclear from which blast.
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey discounts initial reports that the dead terrorist was seeking retribution for The Cartoons That Dare Not Show Their Pixels or for Sweden’s role in Afghanistan:
The cartoons again? That seems pretty thin, given the amount of time that has passed. Sweden has around 500 troops in Afghanistan, none of which are combat units. They hardly seem like a sufficient target for terrorists’ ire, which suggests that perhaps the terrorists are looking mainly for targets of opportunity, and mainly an excuse for mayhem.
The BBC reported that the dead man had pipe bombs on his body, which may mean that the terrorist’s incompetence took care of the problem before any further damage could be done. Assuming this turns out to be true, it could have been the start of an attempt to create a “12/11″ in Sweden. We’ll keep an eye out for any more developments.
At Big Peace, Ned May dubs the incident an attempt at “Christmas Jihad in Stockholm.”
Update: Responding to the Swedish Foreign Minister’s description of the attack, Claire Berlinski asks at Ricochet, “And This Was a ‘Failed’ Terrorist Attack How?”