Fri Apr 14, 2017 09:27AM
An artist’s impression of Uzbek national Rakhmat Akilov (C), the prime suspect in a truck attack in Sweden, together with his defense counsels at a Tuesday court hearing in the Stockholm District Court. (Via Reuters)
An artist’s impression of Uzbek national Rakhmat Akilov (C), the prime suspect in a truck attack in Sweden, together with his defense counsels at a Tuesday court hearing in the Stockholm District Court. (Via Reuters)

Uzbekistan’s security services had passed information on Rakhmat Akilov — the man accused of ramming a truck into a crowd of people in Stockholm last week — to the West before the deadly attack, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov said on Friday.

Kamilov told reporters that Akilov had been recruited by the Daesh terrorist group after he left the Central Asian country in 2014 and settled in Sweden.

“According to the information that we have, he actively urged his compatriots to travel to Syria in order to fight on... [Daesh]’s side,” Kamilov said, adding that Akilov had used online messaging services.

“Earlier (before the attack), information on Akilov’s criminal actions had been passed by security services to one of our Western partners so that the Swedish side could be informed,” he said, without identifying the intermediary country or organization.

An Uzbek security source said this week that Akilov himself had tried to travel to Syria in 2015 to join Daesh but had been detained at the Turkish-Syrian border and deported back to Sweden.

The source added that in February this year, Uzbek authorities had put him on a wanted list for people suspected of extremism.

(Source: Reuters)