At his local mosque in England, Taimour Abdulwahab alarmed elders with his extreme views on Islam.
On the Internet, he posted videos of Chechen fighters and abused Iraqi prisoners. Last weekend, officials say, he died in a botched suicide bombing in Stockholm. Or was that true?Never before has a suicide bomber given a warning as to his intentions. Three explosions, no-one killed.
Despite its apparent failure, the bombing appeared to be well-planned. Taimour was well-equipped with bomb materials, that if positioned right, bearing in mind the busy Christmas shopping season was in full swing at the time, one could imagine the total disasterous conclusion.
Abdulwahab's justification for the Stockholm attack centered largely on Swedish issues. The audio file sent shortly before the blast from his cell phone referred to Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan and an image by a Swedish artist that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, enraging many Muslims. This could have been a man torn.
His Facebook profile shows a man interested in both modern technology and radical Islam, whose "likes" included both "the Islamic Caliphate state" and the Apple iPad.
He was obviously angry, angry enough to force his beliefs out into the open. But, did he actually want to take a number of people with him, or just show to the world that he could have. Will all of this heightened awareness of the potential dangers out there stop us, as individuals, from doing the things that we normally do and going about our every day lives.
Japan issued a travel alert for Europe, joining the United States and Britain in warning of a possible terrorist attack by al-Qaeda or other groups, but tourists appeared to be taking the mounting warnings in it's stride.
The Foreign Ministry in Tokyo urged Japanese citizens to be more cautious when using public transport or visiting popular tourist sites, heightening the possibility of damage to Europe's already bludgeoned tourist industry.
European authorities tightened efforts to keep the
public safe in the wake of warnings by officials in several countries that the terrorism threat is high and extra vigilance is warranted.
Last month, French authorities arrested a man in his 50s who was suspected of several bomb threats in Paris, including one at a railway hub, a police official said. The man, who was not identified, was detained southwest of the capital on suspicions of links to a phone-in threat at the Saint-Lazare train station.
The French have recorded nine bomb alerts in the capital last month, including one at the Eiffel Tower -- a threefold increase from a year earlier. No explosives were found. The U.S. State Department alert advised the hundreds of thousands of American citizens living or traveling in Europe to take more precautions about their personal security.
The British Foreign Office warned travelers to France and Germany that the terror threat in those respective countries was high.
Security officials say terrorists may be plotting attacks in Europe with assault weapons on public places, similar to the deadly 2008 shooting spree in Mumbai, India. Business travelers and tourists arriving here at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport from the United States said they were aware of the new warnings from authorities but weren't changing their plans particularly.
Travelers taking the Eurostar trains between London and Paris were similarly determined not to let the warnings disrupt their plans.
This tells us that life does not stand still. People do forget all too quickly, using the old adage, 'it couldn't happen to me'.
However, the recent bombings in Sweden remind us that there will always be someone with an axe to grind and always someone who is willing to die for their beliefs.