Swedish of­fi­cials ID sus­pect as Uzbek man in truck at­tack

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Matti Hu­uh­ta­nen

STOCKHOLM — The sus­pect in Stockholm’s deadly beer truck at­tack is a 39-year-old na­tive of Uzbek­istan who had been on author­i­ties’ radar, Swedish of­fi­cials 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 in Stockholm. Prime Min­is­ter Ste­fan Lofven de­clared Mon­day a na­tional day of mourn­ing.

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. Elia­son also said po­lice found some­thing in the truck that “could be a bomb or an in­cen­di­ary ob­ject; we are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing it.”

Pros­e­cu­tor Hans Ihrman said the sus­pect has not yet spo­ken to author­i­ties, and he could not con­firm whether he was a le­gal res­i­dent of Swe­den.

Po­lice con­ducted overnight raids around Stockholm but de­clined to say if they were hunt­ing any more sus­pects. They said the sus­pect had been on their radar be­fore but not re­cently.

Swe­den’s health ser­vice said 10 peo­ple were still hos­pi­tal­ized for wounds from the at­tack and four of them were se­ri­ously in­jured.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple gath­ered at the site of the crash Satur­day, build­ing a wall of color­ful flow­ers on the alu­minum fences to keep peo­ple away from the bro­ken glass and twisted metal. Swe­den’s Crown Princess Vic­to­ria laid roses on the ground and wiped away a tear. “We must show a huge force, we must go against this,” she told re­porters.

Al­though it was not clear how long the sus­pect had been in Swe­den, the Scan­di­na­vian coun­try prides it­self on wel­com­ing new­com­ers. Still, its open-door im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy and com­par­a­tively het­ero­ge­neous cul­ture have led to fric­tions. In 2015, Swe­den re­ceived a record 163,000 asy­lum-seek­ers. That was the high­est per-capita rate in Europe, and the coun­try has since re­duced the num­ber of refugees and mi­grants it will ac­cept.

The truck trav­eled for more than 500 yards along a main pedes­trian street, be­fore smash­ing into a crowd out­side the pop­u­lar Ah­lens de­part­ment store.

Steve Ek­lund, 35, who works in an of­fice nearby, said “ma­ni­acs can’t be stopped.”

“It’s very sim­ple. Things like this will al­ways hap­pen in an open so­ci­ety,” Ek­lund said. “Swe­den is not a to­tal­i­tar­ian so­ci­ety.”

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