World Media

Stockholm truck attacker Rakhmat Akilov pleads guilty to terror charges

Stockholm truck attacker Rakhmat Akilov pleads guilty to terror charges

A failed Uzbek asylum seeker yesterday pleaded guilty to terrorism charges over the Stockholm lorry attack that killed five people including a British executive for Spotify. Following a search Akilov's truck, the police discovered explosives that if detonated could have caused many more casualties.

He has said he wanted to punish Sweden for participating in the worldwide coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

The trial of Rakhmat Akilov, 39, begun on Tuesday in Stockholm; it is projected to last for three months.

No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State has suffered huge territorial losses in the past year, prompting worries about where the group's members will go.

Prosecutors say the suspect wanted to "create fear in the population at large" and "force the Swedish government and parliament to halt Sweden's participation in an global training mission in Iraq" aimed at helping the country to dislodge the IS group.

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Akilov had said he offered to carry out an attack in Stockholm on behalf of Islamic State, and had gathered information about possible targets. While the prosecutor gave details about how Mr Akilov used 53 SIM cards and social media like Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber, Facebook and Zello, he looked at papers calmly.

Prosecutor in the case Hans Ihrman does not rule out that Akilov had contact with other individuals before perpetrating the attack.

Throughout the almost 10-month investigation, Mr Akilov has been cooperative, according to his lawyer and the prosecution.

Several truck attacks have been perpetrated in Europe and the United States in recent years.

Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov is suspected of plowing a rented truck into pedestrians and cyclists in New York City on October 31, killing eight people.

"We can learn about the radicalization process and how they are carrying out this kind of act".


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