Where's the kaboom?

The Times Square bomb was a dud. The Portland bomb wasn't even a bomb. Now a bomber in Stockholm managed to kill himself and injure two people, but claimed no innocent lives.

So, the Western world seems to be staying ahead of the game so far. (Iraqis haven't been so lucky.)

Debka asserts that the "same hand" is behind the Times Square dud and the Stockholm fizzle:
The Swedish investigation into the country's first suicide bombing Saturday, Dec. 11, quickly found that the bomb car which exploded during a shopping rush in the heart of Stockholm was part of a well-planned, sophisticated terror operation, prepared several months in advance to inflict a large number of casualties. The Swedish media reported that Iraqi-born Taimour al-Abdaly was loaded down with three sets of bombs, one of which was a dozen miniature pipe bombs strung together as a belt.

Still, the suicide bomber was the only fatality. Two others were slightly injured.

Al-Abdaly's operation was therefore a near-failure, recalling Faisal Shahzad's failed bombing attack in Times Square, New York of May 1, although its planners, al Qaeda, are reported by debkafile's terror experts to have learned from that miss.

The Islamist terror group has turned to multilateralism in the planning, setting up and execution of operations methods to baffle national counter-terror intelligence agencies in the West, our Islamist terror experts report.

The Stockholm strike was accordingly broken down into segments, each taking place in a different country - Pakistan, Iraq, Sweden, Jordan and the UK. American and European cities may find themselves confronted in future with more attacks on those lines. ...

Full article at the link.

The Times Square bombing was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban:
Qari Hussain Mehsud, the top bomb maker for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, said he takes "fully responsibility for the recent attack in the USA." Qari Hussain made the claim on an audiotape accompanied by images that was released on a YouTube website that calls itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.

The tape has yet to be verified, but US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal believe it is legitimate. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel on YouTube was created on April 30. Officials believe it was created to announce the Times Square attack, and Qari Hussain's statement was pre-recorded. ...

(Long War Journal, 2010 May 2.)

Now from LWJ, here's more on the Stockholm bombing:
A car loaded with gas canisters detonated in a busy section of downtown Stockholm today, followed by another explosion 10 minutes later caused by a suicide bomber.

After the explosions, the bomber was found dead lying about 300 yards away from the car bomb, reportedly wearing a suicide vest and a backpack full of nails and surrounded by the remains of pipe bombs. The bombs apparently were inexpertly crafted and failed to detonate to full capacity. Two people were wounded in the bombings, which took place in a street filled with Christmas shoppers.

LWJ's Lisa Lundquist continues with more details:
The Shumukh al-Islam jihadist forum confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber as Taimour Abdulwahab in a statement released today on their website.

"It is our brother, mujahid Taimour Abdulwahab, who carried out the martyrdom operation in Stockholm," said the website Shumukh al-Islam.

Swedish police confirmed that the owner of the car used in the bombing has been identified as Taimour Abdulwahab, born Dec. 12, 1981; today would be his 29th birthday, according to Swedish journalist Per Gudmundson. The car was purchased as late as November of this year. ...

Read the rest at the link.

According to The Telegraph,
Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly showed little interest in religion as he was growing up in Sweden, channelling his energies into sport and partying.

But after he began attending Bedfordshire University in Luton “everything changed” as he became a strict Muslim with increasingly extremist views, even naming his baby son Osama in honour of the al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden.

But the BBC report (with video) states that he was challenged by leaders of the mosque he attended in
Luton when he started spouting off about wanting to recruit terrorists.
He lived in Britain for almost a decade and was known at his mosque in Luton for preaching about terrorism and trying to recruit extremists.

When he was challenged by the mosque's leaders he stormed out.

Questions are now being asked why the police were not alerted to Al Abdally's views ...

Go to the link for the article and video.

Morning Report: 2010-12-14

Iran: Mottaki dismissal won't change policy. The Iranian regime's foreign policy will remain unchanged following the abrupt dismissal of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, says the foreign ministry. (Mottaki was fired while on business in Senegal.) BBC: 'Analysts say it may reflect a power struggle within Iran's ruling conservatives, as Mr Mottaki was seen as a close ally of conservative opponents of President Ahmadinejad in parliament.'

BBC video on Iranian dissident Mohsen Sazegara. Also from the Beeb, a feature on a former regime member, now living in exile. 'Throughout the 1970s Sazegara had been a student activist agitating for the overthrow of the Shah. In 1979 he became Khomeini's press attache. He also helped found the now feared Revolutionary Guard, originally established as a defence force against possible attack from Israel or the United States.' Video at the link.

Hillel Neuer on CTV. Also on video: UN Watch's Hillel Neuer speaks out against the Iranian regime and the "wishy-washy" EU. Clip begins with Canadian PM Stephen Harper's bold speech on Canada's foreign policy.

Syrian President visits Qatar. Via Stratfor, Bashar Assad paid a visit to the Qatari Emir on December 14.

UNSC to end Iraq sanctions. Also from Stratfor, the United Nations Security Council has agreed to end Saddam-era sanctions on Iraq including bans on WMD development(!) and the oil-for-food program.

China getting fed up with North Korea. StrategyPage:
December 14, 2010: Leaked American government reports (Wikileaks) shows China is fed up with North Korea, calling its impoverished neighbor a "spoiled child." But there's been an unfortunate blowback from North Korea's recent aggression against South Korea. Reacting to an American suggestion, Japan and South Korea are planning the use of Japanese forces to help defeat another North Korean invasion of the south. This cooperation was long considered impossible, because of Korean hatred for brutal Japanese occupation from 1905-45. ...

Full article at the link.

Richard Holbrooke dies. Arutz Sheva: 'US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who two years ago praised Truman for recognizing Israel despite State Department opposition, died at the age of 69.'