Swedes Charge Uzbek Man With Terrorism in Truck Attack

Police in central Stockholm in the area of the crime scene on April 8, 2017, the day after a hijacked truck plowed into pedestrians and crashed into the Ahlens department store, killing five people. (TT News Agency/Anders Wiklund/via Reuters, File)

Swedish prosecutors on Tuesday charged an Uzbek man who rammed a stolen truck into a crowd in downtown Stockholm in April 2017, killing five and injuring 14, with terrorism, attempts to carry out a terror act and causing others to be endangered.

Rakhmat Akilov is the only suspect and has already confessed.

Akilov was arrested hours after he drove a stolen beer truck into a crowd of shoppers on a busy pedestrian shopping street and crashed it into an upscale department store in Stockholm’s city center on April 7.

According to the charges obtained by The Associated Press, Akilov had offered to the Islamic State terror group that he would carry out an attack in Stockholm on behalf of IS, and had gathered information about possible targets. It was not clear whether they had accepted his offer.

Investigators found a memory card with “material that can be connected to IS,” including execution videos.

Akilov also caused an explosion inside the truck he had stolen when a suspected bomb made of five gas canister with 38 screws, blades and smaller metal objects exploded. The blast caused “extensive damage to the vehicle,” according to the charges.

The Uzbek construction worker, who was 39 at the time of the attack, was subject to deportation from Sweden ahead of the attack as his asylum application had been rejected.

Swedish prosecutors and his defense lawyer plan separate news conferences later Tuesday.

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