Stockholm attack suspect sympathetic to Islamic State, police say

People gather in Sergels Torg, central Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday for a vigil against terrorism after the an attack on Friday that killed four people. Police said the suspect had sympathies to extremist groups such as the Islamic State. Photo by Jessica Gow/EPA

April 9 (UPI) — The suspect in the truck attack that killed four people in Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, was sympathetic to extremist groups, including the Islamic State, police said Sunday.

When authorities arrested an unidentified 39-year-old man from the central Asian nation of Uzbekistan on Friday, he was known to Swedish intelligence services.

“We know he has shown sympathies to extreme groups, among them ISIS. We won’t comment any further on that,” Swedish police spokesman Jonas Hysing said at a news conference, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

In 2014, the suspect had applied for residency but it was rejected in December last year, another police spokesman, Jan Evensson, told reporters. In February his case was handed to police to deport him after he had failed to leave the country.

The suspect was seen only as a “marginal character,” Sweden’s National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson told reporters.

Another person was arrested as “suspected of terror crimes through murder,” said Karin Rosander, spokeswoman for Sweden’s prosecutors office.

“He is suspected on reasonable grounds, which is the lower degree of suspicion. The other individual is suspected with probable cause, the higher degree of suspicion,” she said.

On Friday, a beer truck plowed into a department store in Stockholm.

Killed in the attack were two Swedes, one Brit and one Belgian. Fifteen people were injured, four of them critically, Stockholm County Council said.

The truck was stolen minutes before the attack during delivery at a restaurant.

A bag of undetonated explosives was found inside the truck, Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT reported.

The suspect was detained Friday in Marsta, about 25 miles north of Stockholm near the city’s main international airport.

On Sunday, several thousand people gathered at Stockholm’s Sergel Square to remember the victims.

Attendees laid flowers on a large Swedish flag placed down the square’s steps.

“Sweden is united,” Stockholm resident Olsa Ekermann said to CNN. “This will change things though. People are more alert, and earlier I heard an ambulance, and everyone looked afraid like something was happening.”


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