Uzbekistan today said the suspect in last week’s deadly Stockholm truck attack had ties to Islamic State jihadists and the West had been warned about him, Russian media reported. Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek national, is in custody on suspicion of mowing down a crowd on a busy street in the Swedish city. The attack killed four people. Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said Akilov was radicalised after moving to Sweden in 2014 and the Central Asian nation’s intelligence service had passed on information about him.
“During his stay abroad, he was recruited through the internet by emissaries of the international terrorist organisation the Islamic State,” Kamilov said at a press briefing in Tashkent, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. “Information about the wrongful acts of Rakhmat Akilov was transferred via the special services to one of our Western partners to further inform the Swedish side,” he added.
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There were no more details on which country Uzbekistan had told.
Interfax, another Russian agency, on Wednesday quoted an anonymous security source in Uzbekistan who said a warrant had been issued for Akilov’s arrest on extremism charges in February.
Swedish police are currently holding Akilov, whose lawyer says he has already confessed to driving a stolen truck through the crowd and into the front of a department store in central Stockholm.