Swedish attack suspect slated for deportation, expressed ISIL sympathies

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Swedish attack suspect slated for deportation, expressed ISIL sympathies

New information in the Swedish truck attack that killed four. Authorities say the main suspect faced deportation and had expressed extremist sympathies. Meanwhile, a second suspect is under arrest.

CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports from Stockholm.
Follow Guy Henderson on Twitter @guyhendersonde

Swedish attack suspect slated for deportation, expressed ISIL sympathies

Swedish authorities say the main suspect in the Stockholm truck attack had been slated for deportation after his asylum claim was rejected. He also had expressed ISIL sympathies. This new information came as a second suspect was arrested by police on suspicion of a "terrorist crime".

Video surveillance footage has emerged of the moment the truck careened down a pedestrian street as shoppers ran for their lives.

That same route has re-opened now, as tributes continue to pile up.

Some 25,000 people gathered near the scene to call for unity on Sunday afternoon.

The organizer was an Iranian refugee.

“It just felt so wrong for me because I came to this country and it accepted me with open arms. And I learned about tolerance and openness,” said Damon Rasti.

Police have now arrested a second suspect, and say the 39-year-old Uzbek man already in custody is a failed asylum seeker.

“In 2014 he applied for a residency permit in Sweden, we know that in June 2016 that application was rejected by the Migration Agency and the Migration Agency decided on expulsion. In December 2016 he was given a deadline to leave the country voluntary, within four weeks, and he was notified by the Migration Agency,” said Jonas Hysing of the Swedish Police.

Authorities say he’s also shown sympathies towards the terror group ISIL.

Not necessarily enough, says one leading anti-terror expert, to be constantly watched.

“He’s been here for a while, they knew who he was. But again, that’s no guarantee. You know, you can’t keep tabs on people all the time. You just don’t have the resources, and you definitely don’t have them here,” said Magnus Norell a Terror Expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The emerging similarities with December’s terrorist attack in Berlin extend beyond a hijacked truck to another already heated debate about immigration.

The main suspect was again known to authorities beforehand. And again, he appears to have been in the country illegally.

That raises some of the same questions that were asked less than four months ago.

Not so much whether the vehicle could have been stopped, but more perhaps should the driver have been able to get anywhere near the cockpit.