Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate

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An asylum seeker who drove a lorry through crowds of shoppers in Stockholm, killing five people, has said he wanted to build a caliphate.

Rakhmat Akilov stole the beer lorry and swerved wildly through the Swedish capital’s city centre, aiming at pedestrians and mowing them down in April last year.

The 40-year-old Uzbek national has told a court that he wanted Sweden to “end its participation in the fight against the caliphate, to stop sending its soldiers to war zones”.

Rakhmat Akilov, 39, is believed to go by a number of names Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate 8a98b9090d6953d1e85c8b2ce1037ac3dfe92e185c6c686bc11934c39073d47f 3927624
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Rakhmat Akilov, now 40, said he wanted to die as a martyr

He said he wanted to “build a caliphate according to Prophet Muhammad’s prophecies”.

“I did this because my heart and my soul aches for those who have suffered from the bombings of the NATO coalition,” he said.

A truck tows away the hijacked lorry which struck pedestrians and crashed into a department store Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate e19b7c69f21ad6794c91ccb54a46fca90fb5499c2c8404eb0a440eafc3781c58 3926260
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The hijacked lorry struck pedestrians and crashed into a department store

Akilov is accused of spending three months preparing the assault on “infidels” and then swearing allegiance to Islamic State the night before his rampage.

After smashing the lorry into a shop front, he detonated an improvised bomb made up of gas canisters and nails – but it failed to go off as planned.

People flee after after a truck drives in to a crowd in Stockholm, reportedly killing 3 Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate ebe5ba0178acdb3b062ffc18cca95b6a89bb050a9c0b3dd662ea37de265303ad 3925754
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People fled as the truck drove in to crowds of shoppers

He escaped by running to a metro station and was picked up several hours later. Akilov has since insisted he had wanted to die as a martyr in an explosion.

The father-of-four, whose family still lives in Uzbekistan, is accused of terrorism and attempted terrorism. On the first day of his trial last week, he pleaded guilty to stealing the truck and driving into people, trying to hit as many as possible.

Emergency services at scene Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate 568d6eadb16de8891f1bfe0b2bea1f4e3f791280df5794ef6849605c6830d3a8 3925861
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Five people died and 10 others were injured in the attack

Three Swedes died in the attack, along with a British man and a Belgian woman. Ten others were injured.

Akilov, who arrived in Sweden in 2014 and had his request for asylum denied in 2016, has not apologised or expressed any remorse.

The British victim has been named as Chris Bevington Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate 574a8809aa08db3b8698044691abd6cd46a2b5a44a7f69a97b72716883405f1c 3927541
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British man Chris Bevington was killed in the attack

Prosecutors want him to serve a life sentence, the length of which can vary in Sweden but is an average of 16 years.

One of the focus points of the trial is whether he acted alone. Police do not believe he had accomplices, but they have found that he was in contact with unidentified people on encrypted chat sites before, during and after the attack.

Flowers left on the steps at Sergels Torg plaza in Stockholm close to the point where a truck drove into a department store Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate Sweden lorry attacker who killed shoppers wanted to build caliphate ec73cec6981a6f7105cd30f6edf6052fc87722aa356286c3262741c173b65ecf 3927461
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Flowers left on the steps at Sergels Torg plaza close to the scene

The trial continues.



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