Stockholm attack suspect tried to join IS in Syria

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At a hearing in the Swedish capital on Tuesday, the lawyer for Rakhmat Akilov, a 39 year-old from the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan, said that his client accepted his continued detention.

- Handout picture via ReutersBISHKEK, April 14 - Uzbekistan today said the suspect in last week's deadly Stockholm truck attack had ties to Islamic State jihadists and the West had been warned about him, Russian media reported.

"His position is that he admits to a terrorist crime and accepts therefore that he will be detained", Johan Eriksson Akilov's lawyer said during a court hearing held to decide whether he should be kept in custody.

The source added that Uzbek authorities had added Akilov to an worldwide wanted list in late February after a criminal case on "religious extremism" was opened against him. The police said last week they had intelligence on Akilov in 2016 that they could not verify.

Swedish police spokesman Jonas Hysing said in a news conference earlier this week that Akilov had been denied permanent residency in the Nordic country and was wanted for deportation before the attack. Four people died in the attack.

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Sweden needed to "close the gaps" in its terrorism laws, Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told reporters on Wednesday, five days after the assailant drove a truck into pedestrians moving along a busy Stockholm street.

The Uzbek government had known that Akilov encouraged others to go to Syria to fight for Islamic State, Kamilov said. However, no terror group has claimed responsibility for the Friday attack. Fifteen were injured. Eight people remain in hospital, including two in intensive care.

According to reports, he had left a wife and four children behind in Uzbekistan in order to earn money to send home.

The Uzbek construction worker had an asylum request rejected by Sweden past year and was arrested several hours after the attack, in the Stockholm suburb of Marsta.

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