Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

West 'warned' about Stockholm truck attack suspect Rakhmat Akilov

West 'warned' about Stockholm truck attack suspect Rakhmat Akilov

April 12, 2017- Suspected Stockholm truck attacker Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek and jihadist sympathiser, admitted on Tuesday to committing a "terrorist crime" by mowing down pedestrians on a busy street, killing four people and injuring 15 others.

Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said its security services had informed a Western ally that Akilov had ties to "Islamic State" (IS) jihadists, Russian media reported.

An Uzbek security source said this week that Akilov had tried to travel to Syria in 2015 to join the Islamic State group.

Akilov is a 39-year-old Uzbek national who applied for Swedish residency in 2014 but was denied last year and ordered to leave the country. However Swedish prosecutor Hans Ihrman said the investigation is still ongoing. He was formally arrested early Saturday.

"He repeatedly propagated propaganda videos of terrorist content through internet messengers to his relatives and other connections in Uzbekistan, trying to persuade them to commit violent actions against Uzbek authorities, government officials and law enforcement agencies", Kamilov said.

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The attack bore some resemblance with other deadly terrorist attacks in Nice, Berlin and London during which truck and cars were used to plough through crowds of people.

Mr Bevington lived in Stockholm with his family and worked as a director with music streaming service Spotify.

He had gone underground after his application for Swedish residency was rejected a year ago, police said. Police chief Dan Eliasson said that after questioning the man they have become increasingly "convinced that we have the right suspect".

A 31-year-old Belgian woman, a 69-year-old Swedish woman and an 11-year-old Swedish girl also died. Eight of those injured, two seriously, are still being treated in hospital.

Akilov, who was known to intelligence services, had applied for residency in Sweden in 2014 but his application was rejected in December past year, according to police.

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