Stockholm terrorist suspect named as Rakhmat Akilov
Affected Countries: sweden;
Swedish police knew about the Stockholm killer‘s ISIS sympathies for a year but focused on ‘other priorities‘ because they did not believe he was ‘high-risk‘, it has emerged.
The 39-year-old fanatic came to the attention of police ‘a long time ago‘ due to his online glorification of ISIS, but investigators assessed him as simply a jihadi sympathiser and did not believe him to be dangerous, a source revealed.
According to a woman living at an address in the suburb of Hjulsta where the terrorist received his letters, he showed no outward signs of religious observance and enjoyed a liberal lifestyle.
‘I can‘t really understand how this man could have killed innocent people,‘ the woman told Swedish media. ‘It‘s horrible. I have never seen any signs that he was an extremist or cared about religion. On the contrary, he partied and drank alcohol like many other Uzbeks in Sweden.‘
The man was arrested on Friday under suspicion of driving the truck which killed four. He was known to the police and had ISIS propaganda on his laptop.
Police yesterday revealed the carnage could have been much worse because a homemade bomb found inside the truck failed to go off.
Officers said the suspect arrested first on Friday evening resembled the man in photos they issued as part of an earlier appeal (left and right)
Mourners visit floral tributes on a fence by the department store, Ahlens, beside the scene of a truck attack in Stockholm
Police cordoned off the Drottninggatan high street (pictured on Saturday) as they continued to investigate the suspected terror attack in Stockholm
Described as a conscientious worker, the 39-year-old Uzbek was employed as a construction worker specialising in asbestos disposal and is understood to have used his salary to support his wife and four children in his native Uzbekistan.
A construction worker who interviewed him for an asbestos disposal job last autumn said that the killer volunteered the fact that he was trained in handling bombs. ‘By the end of the job interview he showed me a certificate that he had knowledge of explosives,‘ he told the Expressen newspaper.
The alleged terrorist was described as ‘quiet and calm‘, and trained to handle asbestos, he said. ‘He never said anything extreme and the news of his arrest comes as a complete surprise,‘ the construction worker, who did not want to be named, added.
The killer had longtime connections to Uzbek criminals who were suspected of having links to radical Islamic groups.
One of his former flat-mates ran a cleaning company that was accused of funding ISIS in 2015.
According to neighbours, three or four Uzbek labourers were living at the one-bedroom property in Vällingby, a suburb of Stockholm, which ‘reeked of cigarette smoke and spicy cooking‘.
The group came under the spotlight as part of a 2015 police investigation into an Uzbek crime ring in the Stockholm area, which was alleged to have generated significant sums of money for the jihadi group.
The investigation was unable to prove a connection to terror financing, so the case was instead restricted to financial impropriety. Five people were charged and three were convicted.
The 39-year-old fanatic came to the attention of police ‘a long time ago‘ due to his online glorification of ISIS. Pictured: Flowers at the scene today
Stockholm was slowly returning to normality in the aftermath of the attack today, with more people on the streets and shops re-opening
Stockholm was slowly returning to normality in the aftermath of the attack today, with more people on the streets and shops re-opening.
However, Åhlens, the department store damaged in the attack, caused outrage when it sent out an email to loyal customers last night advertising a sale of goods damaged in the atrocity.
‘Half price on damaged goods, ranging from sports accessories to shoes and beauty products,‘ it said. The email was met with severe criticism on its Facebook page.
‘Aren‘t you ashamed of yourselves?‘ one user wrote. ‘How low can you sink?‘ Another said: ‘So tasteless and inappropriate,‘ while a third wrote, ‘are you trying to make money from a terror attack?‘
The company later apologised.
Three of the victims of the Stockholm terror attack have been formally identified by police, Chief Commander Jonas Hising said. They have not yet been publicly named.
Ten victims are still being treated in hospital, with four suffering ‘severe‘ injuries. One of the four who died was Belgian.
Six suspects have been arrested on Saturday by police investigating the Stockholm truck attack. The first group were bundled out of a car at 5pm, and the others were surrounded when police raided a flat in Vårberg (pictured) later in the afternoon
On Saturday – the day after the suspected terror attack – officers stood on the road where a man drove into a crowd of pedestrians, killing at least four people
Hundreds of heavily armed officers were stationed around the city on Saturday, and the scene of the attack was sealed off behind a cordon
A distraught man puts his hand over his face as he looks at flowers which were left at the scene following the attack in Stockholm
Hero: Orthopedic surgeon Joakim Nordahl, 54, was in his surgery when he heard the attack, picked his gloves and emergency bag and went straight out with another seven people from the reception
Witnesses described seeing the killer setting himself alight in a failed attempt to detonate a bomb, said to have been in a suitcase, before fleeing in foot.
The head of domestic intelligence agency told a press conference the suspect had been on authorities‘ radar some time ago.
Anders Thornberg, head of the Swedish Security Service, said: ‘The suspect didn‘t appear in our recent files but he earlier has been in our files.‘
In a further development, the first victim of the attack has been identified as an 11-year-old girl who was on her way home from school when the Islamist fanatic struck.
Her mother had previously released a desperate appeal for information about her whereabouts on Facebook. MailOnline is not identifying her at this time following a request from her family.
Speaking at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on Saturday, King Gustav XVI said Sweden would continue to be a ‘safe and peaceful country‘ while calling the death of four people an ‘abhorrent deed‘
This is the truck which was used to kill at least four people – and injure eight – after a terrorist drove into crowds of people in the Swedish capital on Friday
Police chief Dan Eliasson added the suspect was a ‘marginal character‘ and was not thought to be under direct surveillance.
Source: Stock Daily Dish