This is Norway's first suicide bomber

 
This is Norway's first suicide bomber
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In 2010 he met Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in the Parliament. Four years later he became Norway's first suicide bomber.

On 28 May 2010, a delegation from the Volunteer Centre in Halden, met the Prime Minister in the Parliament. Burhan Abdule, who later took part in a suicide attack for al-Shabaab, was among those Jens Stoltenberg shook hands with.

On March 18, 2014, he drove a car loaded with explosives against the hotel Amalo in the Somali town of Buulo Should. It's the middle of the night, and behind the wheel sits Burhan Ahmed Abdule. In the hotel beds African and Somali soldiers are sleeping. It is less than a week since they captured the town from al-Shabaab.

Then Abdule blows himself up and kills at least eight other people.

Shortly after the attack, al-Shabaab claimed that the suicide bomber was from Norway. The Police Security Service (PST) started an investigation and concluded that Abdule had participated in the attack.

This was the first time PST had concluded that a person with a Norwegian passport had been involved in a suicide attack.

Before the attack, al-Shabaab made an interview with the Somali, who lived in Norway for eight years. Abdule says in the interview that he will attack Buulo.

- The unbelievers have taken over the city, said Abdul in the interview - but now they will taste hell.

Four years before the attack, 30 men from Halden were visiting the Parliament in Oslo. Abdule was one of the lucky ones who got to meet the Prime Minister. When the group was photographed, Abdule looked smilingly over the shoulder of Jens Stoltenberg.

Abdule supported the Labour Party and became a role model in the Somali community in Halden. Nobody knew that he in a few years would become a suicide bomber for al-Shabaab.

- He was not afraid of Norwegian society as one can imagine extremists are. He was integrated, said Mohammed Abdi Dahir, who is Chairman of the Somali Association in Halden. Abdule was involved in starting the association.

- He was very well liked. People looked up to him - the way he acted, his behaviour and the way he tried to integrate into our little town. The summer of 2012 he suddenly disappeared. The next time we heard something he was dead, said Dahir to NRK.

- It was indescribable to get such a message.

Abdule and his family moved to Norway and Østfold in the spring of 2005. Although Abdule was not good at football, he played a lot to get to know the others. In the summer he bathed with the Norwegians on the beach. He liked to ride bikes and took the new comrades on a bicycle ride to Sweden. Already the first year in Halden, Abdule took Norwegian courses to learn Norwegian.

The tall man with the proud attitude was a popular man in the Somali community.

- He was always in a good mood. He helped people. He was strong, you know. When people needed help moving, he helped, recalls Abdi Yusuf Iraq, who met Abdule regularly over several years. Like many other Somalis in Halden he often sat at one of the cafes. There he drank coffee and talked with the others.

The same night as debris and body parts were removed outside the hotel in Buulo, al-Shabaab posted a 14-minute interview with Abdule.

Abdule says he is called Habiib Muhajir, like so many foreign jihadists by al-Shabaab.

He says he has been a member of the al Qaeda-backed Islamist group al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) for 13 years before he joined al-Shabaab.

- It is not long before you take action, says the interviewer. What will you achieve?

- I hope I will achieve my goal. The unbelievers who took over Buulo think Islam is gone from town, but we're not. Allah's willing, the infidels will taste hell, says Abdule.

The week before the attack, Somali government troops and the African Union seized control of the city. The reporter asks what Abdule wants to say to the people of Buulo.

- They've seen how Islamic rule works. Over the past six years, no women have been raped, no one has been robbed, no cars stolen, there has been no clan wars. It has been quiet. The population has seen that the best way to live is by the word of Allah.

Then Abdule reads a poem he has written himself. With melody in his voice he recites his poem: "Do not miss this holy war, it leads to paradise."

- I come from Europe and a country called Norway, says Abdule in the interview. He says that he is 60 years old. According to Norwegian papers he is 43.

- People who are 60 years old are nearly finished with their lives, they are going to die soon anyway. The old who are struggling with disease, who can not walk or is injured, they should do the same as me, he says.

After the explosion, gunmen from al-Shabaab attacked soldiers at the hotel. At least eight more people were killed.

Halden Municipality wanted Abdule to receive job training, and practice the Norwegian language. They placed him in a mechanical workshop in Halden. As a believing Muslim, Abdule followed the prayer times during the working day.

Abdule behaved in a way that was noticed. He was sophisticated and well dressed. "As a gentleman," some say.

It was a contrast to the simple work he performed.

- He could not fit in the work environment here. But he was nice, says a colleague.

Integrated, and secretly a member of al-Qaeda for 13 years...something to think about.

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