“We are focusing on how he entered the country, where has he been”
Yesterday, we covered the terror attack in Sweden in which a terrorist drove a stolen truck into a mall and killed at least four people and injured dozens more. Today, we are learning more about the 39-year-old native of Uzbekistan believed to be responsible for the attack and about the reaction of Swedes to the terror attack.
The suspect in Stockholm’s deadly beer truck attack is a 39-year-old native of Uzbekistan who had been on authorities’ radar previously, Swedish authorities said Saturday. The prime minister urged citizens to “get through this” and strolled through the streets of the capital to chat with residents.
Swedes flew flags at half-staff Saturday to commemorate the four people killed and 15 wounded when the hijacked truck plowed into a crowd of shoppers Friday afternoon in Stockholm. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven declared Monday a national day of mourning, with a minute of silence at noon.
Sweden’s police chief said authorities were confident they had detained the man who carried out the attack.
“There is nothing that tells us that we have the wrong person,” Dan Eliason told a news conference Saturday, but added he did not know whether others were involved in the attack. “We cannot exclude this.”
. . . . Prosecutor Hans Ihrman said the suspect has not yet spoken to authorities and could not confirm whether he was a legal resident of Sweden. Anders Thornberg, head of the Swedish Security Service, said security services were working with other nations’ security agencies to investigate the attack, but declined to elaborate.
There are further reports that this suspect was known to the Swedish security authorities, and with the police chief saying that they are focused on determining how the terrorist entered the country, there is reason to believe that he was not a native of Sweden.
A Swedish prosecutor and police officials did not identify the suspect, but Anders Thornberg, the head of the Swedish Security Service, said the man had been on the authorities’ radar some time ago.
Mr. Thornberg said that the agency had followed up on information it received on the suspect last year, but that it did not lead to anything. He said the suspect was not on any current list of people the agency was monitoring.
“The suspect didn’t appear in our recent files, but he earlier has been in our files,” he said at a news conference on Saturday.
. . . . Chief Eliasson would not say how long the suspect had been living in Sweden. “We are focusing on how he entered the country, where has he been,” he said. “We need to establish what kind of contacts he had.”
He said there were clear similarities with the deadly terror attack in London last month, in which a British-born man used a vehicle to mow down a crowd of people on Westminster Bridge before he was shot and killed by the police.
An impromptu memorial has been established at the site of the terror attack, with many stopping to pay tribute to the innocent victims of this repulsive terror attack.
Drottninggatan (Queen Street) remained cordoned off Saturday morning, but the truck had been removed overnight from the building where it had been wedged. Heavily armed officers guarded the area and several police vans were present.
Scores of people came to lay flowers Saturday morning at a spot on Klarabergsgaten, near the crash site. The mood was subdued, with people seeming to be in quiet reflection.
. . . . Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel visited the scene mid-morning. Princess Victoria, who was dressed in black and visibly moved to tears, was barely able to speak as she surveyed the area. “I feel an enormous sorrow and emptiness,” she told reporters.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who visited a short time later, said: “The goal is that we are supposed to be afraid, but Sweden has shown itself from its best side. That is a strength that no one can take away from us.”