Rakhmat Akilov

Rakhmat Akilov is the perpetrator of the April 7, 2017 vehicle attack in Stockholm, Sweden, that killed five people and injured 14 others.“Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106. Akilov, an Uzbek native, had been wanted by Swedish authorities only because he failed to depart the country after his application for asylum was rejected.“Stockholm truck attack: Who is Rakhmat Akilov?” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39552691. Unknown to authorities, he consumed ISIS propaganda online, encouraged fellow Uzbeks to join ISIS, and swore allegiance to the group before carrying out the attack in Stockholm.Sewell Chan, “Suspect in Stockholm Attack was an ISIS recruit, Uzbek Official Says,” New York Times, April 14, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/stockholm-attack-isis-rakhmat-akilov.html; “Stockholm truck attack: Who is Rakhmat Akilov?” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39552691; “Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106. In June 2018, Akilov was convicted of multiple counts of of terror-related murder, attempted murder, and endangering the life of others. He was given a lifetime prison sentence––which in Sweden equates to about 18 years––and was also sentenced to be banned from Sweden for life after he completes his prison sentence there.“Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106.

Akilov, an Uzbek native and construction worker, traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, in 2014, where he submitted an application for asylum. While there, he reportedly communicated with ISIS recruiters and even became a recruiter himself, encouraging fellow Uzbeks to travel abroad to join ISIS. According to Uzbek foreign minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, Akilov “repeatedly sent propagandist videos to his relatives and other contacts in Uzbekistan, trying to induce them to commit acts of violence against representatives of public authority, leadership, and law enforcement of Uzbekistan.”Sewell Chan, “Suspect in Stockholm Attack was an ISIS recruit, Uzbek Official Says,” New York Times, April 14, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/stockholm-attack-isis-rakhmat-akilov.html. In December 2016, Akilov’s application for asylum was rejected, and he was given four weeks to depart the country.“Stockholm truck attack: Who is Rakhmat Akilov?” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39552691; “Stockholm lorry attacker Rakhman Akilov jailed for life,” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44399293. However, he did not depart and was consequently put on an official wanted list in February 2017.“Stockholm truck attack: Who is Rakhmat Akilov?” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39552691.

On April 7, 2017, Akilov hijacked a truck and drove it into crowd of shoppers and into a department store in central Stockholm, killing five people and injuring 14 others.Sewell Chan, “Suspect in Stockholm Attack was an ISIS recruit, Uzbek Official Says,” New York Times, April 14, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/stockholm-attack-isis-rakhmat-akilov.html; “Stockholm lorry attacker Rakhman Akilov jailed for life,” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44399293; “Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106. Additionally, in what authorities suspected may have been a failed suicide bombing attempt, a bomb made of gas canisters and small metal objects also exploded in the truck but only inflicted damage on the vehicle.Associated Press, “Uzbek man charged with terrorism in Stockholm truck attack,” Canadian Broadcasting Company, January 30, 2018, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/stockholm-truck-attack-uzbek-charge-1.4509964. Akilov fled the scene via the subway but was arrested by authorities hours later in a northern suburb of Stockholm. He quickly confessed to carrying out the attack.“Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106; “Stockholm lorry attacker Rakhman Akilov jailed for life,” BBC News, June 7, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44399293.

A subsequent investigation found photos of downtown Stockholm on Akilov’s cell phone, and a memory card with ISIS propaganda, including execution videos, that had been in his possession.Associated Press, “Uzbek man charged with terrorism in Stockholm truck attack,” Canadian Broadcasting Company, January 30, 2018, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/stockholm-truck-attack-uzbek-charge-1.4509964. Authorities also discovered that Akilov had communicated with others about his intended activities over social media, and had sworn allegiance to ISIS on April 6, 2017, the day before the attack.“Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106.

In January 2018, Akilov was charged with attempted murder, terror-related murder, and endangering the lives of others.Associated Press, “Uzbek man charged with terrorism in Stockholm truck attack,” Canadian Broadcasting Company, January 30, 2018, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/stockholm-truck-attack-uzbek-charge-1.4509964. Uzbekistan also charged him with involving minors in antisocial behavior, distributing materials that pose a threat to public security, and participation in a prohibited group, though he was ultimately prosecuted in Sweden.Sewell Chan, “Suspect in Stockholm Attack was an ISIS recruit, Uzbek Official Says,” New York Times, April 14, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/stockholm-attack-isis-rakhmat-akilov.html. On June 7, 2018, he was found guilty of five counts of terror-related murder, 119 counts of attempted murder, and 24 counts of endangering the life of others. Akilov was given a lifetime prison sentence, which is the heaviest penalty in Sweden and equates to about 18 years. He was also sentenced to be banned from Sweden for life after he completes his prison sentence there.“Stockholm truck attack: Rakhmat Akilov convicted of terror-related murder, gets life term,” Australian Broadcasting Company, June 7, 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/stockholm-truck-attack-suspect-gets-life-sentence/9847106.

Extremist entity
ISIS
Type(s) of Organization:
Insurgent, territory-controlling, religious, terrorist, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Islamist, jihadist, pan-Islamist, Salafist, takfiri
Position(s):
Perpetrator of the April 7, 2017 vehicle attack in Stockholm, Sweden, ISIS recruiter

ISIS is a violent jihadist group based in Iraq and Syria. The group has declared wilayas (provinces) in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the North Caucasus. ISIS has also waged attacks in Turkey, Lebanon, France, Belgium, Iraq, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tunisia, and Kuwait.

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Fact:

On February 26, 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a market in Biu, Nigeria, killing 19 people and injuring 20 others. A second attempted-suicide bomber was caught and beaten by a crowd before he was able to carry out his attack.

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