Swedish man on trial for planning attack

A young Swedish man has gone on trial charged with planning to commit a suicide attack in Sweden after police seized bomb-making materials from his apartment, Swedish Radio reports.

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The 20-year-old had wanted to set off an explosion, killing people and becoming a martyr, prosecutor Ewamari Haggkvist told the Attunda District Court, near the capital of Stockholm, Swedish Radio reported on Friday from the courtroom.

She said the “planned criminal act could have seriously harmed Sweden”, citing the indictment, according to the report.

Evidence in the case included seized materials that could be used to make a bomb, including six bottles of acetone, steel balls and a pressure cooker, Haggkvist added.

The man, who was arrested in February, denied the charges, his attorney Peter Jansson said.

The prosecutor also mentioned how the defendant in June was stopped twice in Turkey, from where he had planned to travel on to Syria to join the Islamic State.

Prior to the trips he had become more and more interested in religion, especially Islam, and withdrew large sums of money.

When his family took his passport from him after he was sent back from Turkey the second time, he said he planned to commit an attack in Sweden, the court was told.

Haggkvist said several of the man’s family members had expressed concerns about his views, and that his mother and an uncle alerted police.

Information retrieved from the man’s mobile phone also showed he had searched online for how to make a bomb.

Experts at the Swedish Defence Research Agency cited by the prosecutor said the device could have been lethal if it had been assembled, but some explosive ingredients were missing.

The design was similar to that used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing where three people were killed.