Suspect arrested in connection with fatal truck attack in Stockholm was a failed asylum seeker

April 9, 2017, 2:05pm

Swedish authorities have arrested a man in connection with Friday’s truck attack that killed four people in central Stockholm. The suspect was named as father of four Rakhmat Akilov, an asylum-seeker originally from Uzbekistan.

Alikov was known to the authorities prior to the attack. He’d applied for a visa in 2014 but was rejected in December of last year. After the decision, he was given four weeks to leave the country but failed to do so. He was one of 10,000 people slated for deportation from Sweden at the time of the attack.


Sweden has tightened control of its borders in recent years and restricted immigration practices. In 2015, the country accepted 163,000 asylum seekers. Following the European trend of cracking down on refugee entry, Sweden allowed just 30,000 asylum seekers through its borders in 2016.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said on Sunday: “It makes me extremely frustrated – if you have you been turned down, leave the country.”

Along with the arrest of Alikov, a second suspect was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the attack in Sollentuna, a suburb north of Stockholm.

The four people killed were a British man, a Belgian woman who was visiting Stockholm as a tourist, and two Swedes. One of the Swedish victims was an 11-year-old girl on her way home from school. The Guardian reports that she had just gotten off the phone with her mother, who had agreed to meet her at a nearby subway stop just moments before the attack.

The British man, Chris Bevington, was a director with the music streaming service Spotify and lived in Stockholm with his family.

In addition to the four dead, 15 others were injured and four are in critical condition, CNN learned from the Stockholm county council.

The truck mowed down shoppers in one of the city’s busiest districts, ending its rampage by crashing into the Åhléns department store at 2:53 p.m. The department store faced criticism for offering smoke-damaged goods at a 50 percent discount after the attacks. The store has apologized and remained closed Sunday.