SWEDISH-BELGIAN CONNECTION: OSAMA KRAYEM, A SWEDISH RADICAL ISLAMIST FROM MALMOE

Daily Mail, United Kingdom, on April 9, 2016 published an AFP report on Swedish radical Islamist radical national Osama Krayem, who is charged with terrorist murders over the Brussels metro bombing. Excerpts below:

The son of Syrian exiles from the [notorious] Rosengard district of the southern Swedish city of Malmo…Krayem was arrested on April 8 in Brussels with Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini and several other men.

Belgian prosecutors said on April 9 that Krayem is the man caught on closed circuit television cameras speaking briefly to Khalid El Bakraoui moments before the latter blew himself up in a subway station near the European Union headquarters in Brussels on March 22.

Krayem, 23, was also said to have been caught on camera buying bags in a Brussels shopping mall that were used to carry the suicide bombs that Khalid’s brother Ibrahim and fellow suicide bomber Najim Laachraoui, believed to be the bomb maker, set off at Brussels airport on the same day.

A personal friend of Krayem recalled how the young man lived it up in the Seved neighbourhood which has a reputation for drug trafficking.

“In the two or three months before he left, he stopped seeing his friends. He listened to the sermons of the imams on his cell phone. He grew his beard. He became someone else,” another friend recalled.

Krayem suddenly disappeared in early 2015 before resurfacing in Syria posing for a photograph posted on Facebook where he is seen wearing a uniform and clutching a Kalashnikov assault rifle with an Islamic State flag in the background.

The photos were apparently taken in IS-controlled Deir Ezzor, the capital of the province of the same name that borders Iraq.

Investigators retraced his steps after his return from Syria.

On September 20, 2015, he registered under the alias Naim Al-Hamed on the Greek island of Leros. In early October in the German city of Ulm, a car rented by Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam picked him up.

Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels on March 18 following a four-month manhunt and is now awaiting his extradition to France.

Mohamed Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian who lived in Sweden, was shot dead during a March 15 police raid on an apartment in Brussels where Salah Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found.

In 2010, Taymour Abdel Wahab, a Swede born in Iraq, blew himself up in a failed attack on a street in Stockholm. He was carrying a Belgian identity card.

Comment: The growing Swedish-Belgian radical connections is a sign that Stockholm is failing to come to grips with the growing number of Muslims in the country that are linked to ISIS. The city council in Malmoe, Sweden’s third largest city, has shown a lack of interest in dealing with the growing number of radical Islamists in some of the city districts, especially Rosengard. Malmoe is also infamous for being one of the most anti-Semitic cities in Europe.

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