Uzbekistan says had warned West about Stockholm attack suspect

People lay flowers near Ahlens department store, the site of last week's terrorist attack.
People lay flowers near Ahlens department store, the site of last week's terrorist attack.PHOTO: REUTERS/TT NEWS AGENCY

TASHKENT (Reuters) - Uzbekistan’s security services passed information on Rakhmat Akilov, the man accused of ramming a truck into a crowd of people in Stockholm last week, to the West before the deadly attack, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said on Friday (April 14).

Kamilov told reporters Akilov had been recruited by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group after he left the Central Asian nation in 2014 and settled in Sweden.

“According to the information that we have, he actively urged his compatriots to travel to Syria in order to fight on Islamic State’s side,” Kamilov said, adding that Akilov had used online messaging services.

“Earlier (before the attack), information on Akilov’s criminal actions had been passed by security services to one of our Western partners so that the Swedish side could be informed,” he said without identifying the intermediary country or organisation.  

An Uzbek security source said this week that Akilov had tried to travel to Syria himself in 2015 to join ISIS but was detained at the Turkish-Syrian border and deported back to Sweden.  

The source added that in February this year Uzbekistan’s authorities had put him on a wanted list for people suspected of religious extremism.