The man who killed five and injured 14 when he drove a lorry through central Stockholm in last year’s terror attack, took a picture from behind the wheel minutes before mowing down pedestrians.
Rakhmat Akilov, 40, sent the picture to a friend, before turning a corner and embarking on his terror mission through the Swedish capital.
The failed Uzbek asylum seeker later told police he wanted to punish Sweden for its part in the global fight against ISIS, which is why he had to ‘run over the unbelievers’.
Seconds to go: This photo was taken by Rakhmat Akilov moments before he mowed down pedestrian’s on a busy street in Stockholm last April, killing five people and injuring 14
Terrorist: Akilov, a 40-year-old failed Uzbek asylum seeker, has been charged with terrorism and other offences over the attack
Akilov, who was on the run from Swedish authorities after his asylum application was turned down, has now formally been charged with ‘terrorism and attempted terrorism’.
Akilov wanted to ‘instigate fear among the public in Sweden and force Sweden’s government and parliament to end Sweden’s participation in military training of the global coalition against IS in Iraq,’ the indictment said.
Court documents reveal that Akilov was disappointed with the low death-toll and had aimed to kill ’40-50 people’ through detonating a home-made bomb, which failed.
On April 7 last year, Akilov hijacked a beer lorry outside a restaurant in central Stockholm and sped some 500 metres down a pedestrian street, ploughing into shoppers before crashing the truck into a department store.
Bloodied and with burns to his clothes after attempting to set off the home-made bomb, Akilov fled into a nearby subway station, leaving three dead – including an 11 year old girl – and 14 n injured. Two of the victims died later in hospital.
Aftermath: Akilov stole a beer lorry and mowed down pedestrians before trying to detonate a home-made bomb which failed
Motive: Akilov later told police he wanted to punish Sweden for its part in the global fight against ISIS, which is why he had to ‘run over the unbelievers’
He was arrested the same day outside a gas station in a Stockholm suburb after he was recognised from a CCTV picture.
According to Ihrman, Akilov had planned his attack for months and had investigated a number of possible targets, including gay clubs and ferries.
Akilov had asked in online conversations for practical advice on building a bomb and for spiritual guidance ahead of a ‘martyr operation’, the charges filed with a Stockholm court alleged.
Ihrman said Akilov had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and had tried unsuccessfully to get to Syria, but it was not clear whether he had been directly instructed to carry out his attack.
Mourning: Flowers left in Stockholm, Sweden, two days after the terror attack last year
Akilov’s lawyer Jonas Eriksson said his client admitted to the charge and and confirmed the motive, but declined to say whether Akilov had expressed regret for the attack.
Sweden has not fought in a war in more than 200 years and is not part of NATO, but has taken part in international peacekeeping missions in places like Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.
It has also sent 70 instructors to aid Iraqi forces in their fight against IS as part of a U.S.-led operation.
The trial is due to begin next month.