Was bomber radicalised by his wife?

Taimour Abdulwahab. AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group

Taimour Abdulwahab. AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group

Published Dec 15, 2010


Mona Thwany’s lips are painted bright red, and she wears a clinging top with a plunging neckline.

Smiling broadly for the camera with dark hair flowing over her shoulders, she looks very much a glamorous Western wife.

It is a rare departure from her usual appearance. The widow of suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab, in hiding while the three-bed semi she shared with her husband in Luton is scoured by forensic off cers, is rarely seen without a veil covering her face.

Her Romanian grandmother Maria Nedelcovici last night told how Thwany was radicalised on a trip to North Africa and in turn, introduced her husband to radical Islam.

Speaking moments after being told of Abdulwahab’s suicide mission, tearful Nedelcovici cried out: “Why did you do this Mona?” She said she and other relatives warned her granddaughter that her conversion to radical Islam would destroy her family.

But Thwany refused to change her ideas, she claimed - and in June of this year she and her husband went on to name their only son Osama, the same name of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

“From all of the names in the world Mona had to choose Osama,” said Nedelcovici.

Thwany was born in Bucharest in 1982 after her Iraqi father Abdul met her Christian mother Mihaela when he was studying architecture in the then-communist Romanian capital.

Today he is involved in the UN-sponsored reconstruction of Iraq and travels frequently to the Middle East. He travelled for work in the 1980s too, taking his daughter with him to Algeria when she was a toddler.

The family stayed for 10 years in the North African country - rife with bloody Islamic terrorism - before emigrating to Sweden in 1995, where Abdulwahab’s Iraqi family had also settled.

It was during a pilgrimage to Tunisia some five years later with her father Abdul that Thwany became radicalised. She began wearing first a headscarf, and later an Islamic veil.

Nedelcovici said: “Mona came to Romania at about the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks in America.”

She insisted on wearing a headscarf and covered up her arms and legs even though it was the height of summer.

It was about this time that Mona went to the UK to study, taking a one-year course in journalism and later a degree in psychology. And it was in Luton where she met Abdulwahab, her grandmother said.

The couple are believed to have undergone an Islamic wedding in the UK before the birth of their first child Amira in February 2006. Last night she could not be contacted to respond to her grandmother’s claims. - Daily Mail

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