World News Brief, Tuesday December 14

UK security forces search Luton property related to Stockholm bombing; experts fear bomber may have been one of al-Qaeda's "lone jihadists"; US homegrown terrorism on the rise; WikiLeaks cables reveal Australia feared being pulled into nuclear conflict; Netanyahu says no chance Jerusalem will be divided; Ivory Coast suspended from African Union until Gbagbo gone; and more

Top of the Agenda: UK Investigates Stockholm Bombing


Under the Terrorist Act of 2000, British security services executed a search warrant (BBC) at a property in Luton as part of an expanding investigation into the background of Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, the suspect in Saturday's suicide bombing in Stockholm, Sweden. Before moving to Sweden, Abdaly lived and studied (al-Jazeera) in Luton for several years, and police will be investigating any connections made during this time. In the search, no hazardous materials were found, and no arrests have been made. Swedish investigators also confirmed that "jihadist" emails received (AP) by police and the news agency TT just prior to the bombing were sent by Abdaly. In these messages, an audio file condemns the Swedish military presence in Afghanistan and the controversial Swedish cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed as a dog.

Experts fear the attack may be part of a new, but unreliable, al-Qaeda strategy of encouraging "lone jihadists" (Guardian) to strike at Westerners with whatever limited tools and training they have. Abu Baseer Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, issued a call for attacks in both the Middle East and the West. According to investigators, the bombing is reminiscent of recent attacks in London, Glasgow, and New York.


The Guardian's Jonathan Paige provides a brief profile of Abdaly.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at the threat of homegrown terrorism in the United States and the recent upswing in incidents perpetrated by Islamic radicals who are US citizens.


PACIFIC RIM: Japan Will Shift Forces to Focus on China


Japan will release new guidelines (WashPost) for its military posture that take into account an increased Chinese threat, particularly in the disputed waters surrounding the southern Japanese islands.

Australia: In the latest WikiLeaks cables, Australian intelligence expressed fears that Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities could pull the United States and Australia into a nuclear conflict (The Australian), even though they believed the Iranian program to be primarily defensive.

- Netanyahu Dismisses Jerusalem Separation
- Africa Rejects Gbagbo


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