Stockholm Terrorist Attack: What We Know

This is a summary of the information that has circulated about the terrorist attack in Stockholm on the 7th of April 2017. Keywords are marked in bold while speculations are written as italics. Links are provided in the footnotes where relevant. This post will be updated with new information when it is available. Please leave feedback, updates and corrections in the comments below. All times in CET.

April 7th | April 8th | April 9th | April 10th | April 11th | April 12th | April 13th | April 23rd | April 25rd


Friday, 7th of April

  • At about 14.55 (2.55pm) a truck crashed into the Åhléns department store near sergels torg in Stockholm. The truck was identified as belonging to Spendrups Brewery, and was later found to have been hijacked as the driver was making a delivery.
  • The truck was stolen outside of Restaurant Caliente, on Adolf Fredriks Kyrkogata. The hijacker had to take a detour around roadblocks before steering the truck onto Drottninggatan before crashing into Åhléns. 1)Iskalla manövern med lastbilen (Expressen)
  • The hijacker reportedly put on a ski mask before jumping into the truck as the driver went to unload his shipment. The driver attempted to stop the hijacker, who in turn tried to run the driver down. The driver was hit as he jumped out of the way, but only suffered minor injuries. 2)Spendrups: Lastbilen blev stulen (Aftonbladet)
  • There were reports of shots fired at multiple locations around Stockholm,  including sergels torg and fridhemsplan. These were later dismissed by the police, as no evidence could be found to support these claims. The same goes for reports of knifes and other kind of blades. The police had their weapons drawn at sergels torg, which would help explain why people thought shots had been fired. 3)Ingen skottlossning efter attentatet (DN)
  • The truck caught fire after crashing. Nobody was injured as a result of the fire or smoke.
  • The central station was evacuated as a tactical police strike team entered. The reason for the police entering was the escape route of the suspect, where he hid before getting on to an Arlanda Express train.
  • Initial claims from people being stuck on a train as the events unrolled talked about an explosion causing them to instinctively get down on the floor of the train car. It is unclear what caused this, but no explosive devices appear to have detonated in the subway or train station.
  • The police announced that one person had been taken into custody around 20:00 in the evening that matched the description of the assailant. The arrest took place in Märsta, supposedly after people had called the police as he was walking around still injured from the crash. Märsta is located not far from Arlanda Airport.
  • Video Drottninggatan minutes after the attack
stockholm-marsta.jpg
Map of Stockholm with Märsta highlighted and enlarged (openstreetmap.org)

Saturday, 8th of April

  • The person taken into custody Friday evening is placed under arrest during the night. The man, age 39, who is an Uzbek citizen, is said to support terrorist organizations according to the Swedish police. 4)Misstankarna har stärkts (Polisen)
  • The police reported that an electronic device was found in the truck that didn’t belong there. No information is yet available what this device is. The bomb squad made a quick analysis and decided the device was inert and didn’t pose any danger.
  • It does not appear to be a suicide attack, as the assailant was careful to hide his face when stealing the truck. If his intention was to blow himself up with the truck, he would have no need to protect his identity. For this reason, a valid guess as to what the device is would be a jammer of sorts. The cell networks were unavailable during the attack, but do note that the cause of this is still uncertain and this is just speculation.

Sunday, 9th of April

  • Belgian authorities informed Sunday morning on Twitter that one of the victims was a Belgian man. Swedish authorities held a press conference mid day and shared that all 4 casualties have been identified as  two Swedish citizens, one British citizen, and one Belgian citizen. One of the Swedish victims is known since late Friday to be an 11 year old girl. The total number of injured is at 15, with 10 still being treated of which 4 are seriously injured and 2 under intensive care. A dog was also killed in the attack.
  • More information is released about the suspected assailant. His name is Rakhmat Akilov, and he applied for asylum in 2014. The asylum request was denied in June 2016, and in December 2016 he received an ultimatum to leave the country. After this, he disappeared. On the 27th of February 2017 the police puts out a bulletin to have him apprehended.
  • The assailant was previously investigated by Swedish security police (Säpo)
  • A second person, reportedly also of Uzbek origin was arrested Sunday morning with the same charges as the assailant. The courthouse confirms that public defenders have been requested for two people.
  • An individual with the name Rustam Akhmedov has incorrectly been identified as the assailant by some websites and posts. This person while also being Uzbek had nothing to do with the assailants or the attack. 5)Rustam hängdes ut som den misstänkta gärningsmannen (Metro)
  • Video Manifestation at Sergels Torg

Monday, 10th of April

  • The police executed searches at a company in Sollentuna late Sunday evening. Akilov has never been an employee of the company, that works with asbestos. He has however worked for a subcontractor. Akilov did apply for a job with the company, but he was turned down as he lacked the specific competence needed.
  • Around 11:30 the police executed searches in Solna. The address hosts offices for various companies in construction, demolition and related. The police has not yet confirmed that this is related to the attack. 6)Polisstyrka gör tillslag med bombskydd (Expressen)
  • Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet says that according to their sources Akilov has during his hearings said that he is a muslim and a member of ISIS/ISIL. Additionally, he was reported as saying the order came directly from Syria. This has not yet confirmed by the police. 7)Rakhmat Akilov misstänks för attacken på Drottninggatan (Aftonbladet)8)Misstänkte terroristen erkänner i förhör (Sundsvalls Tidning)
  • Conflicting information is circulating on Akilov’s bomb-making skills. Some sources indicate that he was an explosives expert, while others claim that he was talking to ISIS/ISIL members via WhatsApp before the attack asking them how to make bombs.
  • Akilov requested to get a new public defender. The reason for this was not initially known, but it was later released this was because he wanted a sunni muslim defender. The request was denied.9)Akilov ville byta bort advokaten (Expressen)10)Akilov begärde sunnimuslims advokat (DN)

Tuesday, 11th of April

  • Akilov has pleaded guilty to the charge of “terrorist crime by murder” during the initial hearings which means he will likely be placed under arrest. This information comes from his public defender. The police has previously stated the investigation could take up to a year, and Akilov faces 4 years to life in prison11)Dåd i Stockholm (SVT)
  • As of 11:30 it has been confirmed that Akilov has been placed under arrest. Akilov reportedly did not object to the arrest.
  • 8 people are still in hospital being treated for their injuries, of which 2 are under intensive care.
  • The prosecutor confirms that one more person is in custody, as previously known. A decision on whether to place the second person under arrest need to be taken before 12:00 tomorrow. The court has issued a prohibition against disclosing any further information.
  • The other person that was in custody will not be arrested, as the suspicions against him have weakened. He will not be released however, as he was already ordered to leave the country since before. 12)Dåd i Stockholm – Newsflow (SVT)
  • Journalists have discovered that at least two people have used the name Rakhmat Akilov. An Akilov was hired by Scandic Hotels AB between 2015-16, but Scandic doesn’t recognize the suspect. During the same period an Akilov worked with asbestos removal. 13)Flera personer har använt samma namn (SVT)
  • Despite the name not being known for certain, the authorities are sure that the man facing trial was the man in the truck.

Wednesday, 12th of April

  • Sources in Uzbek law enforcement has told the Russian news agency Interfax that Rakhmat Akilov has been wanted in Uzbekistan since February this year, suspected for crimes related religious extremism. He was supposedly radicalized before coming to Sweden, and Uzbek authorities wanted him for “distribution or production of material that pose a threat to public safety” and for being active in religious and extremist organizations. 14)Han blev allt mer instabil (SVT)
  • The information that is coming from Uzbekistan should be taken with a grain of salt according to Elin Jönsson, who used to report on Russia for SVT. It appears the whole Akilov story is being spun as propaganda by the regime. There are no indications that any information has been shared with Sweden in the past, and Interpol doesn’t have any information in their database either. 15)Uzbekistan användrr Akilov för sin propaganda (SVT)


Thursday, 13th of April

  • Swedish police will allocate 50 officers to investigate the attack over the next 6 months. They have currently held over 700 interviews and made over 300 findings that need to be examined. The initial directive from the prosecutor is to find any co-conspiritors 16)Polisen håller pressträff sex dygn efter dådet (SVT)


Sunday, 23rd of April

  • Swedish police made a third arrest in Örkelljunga, Skåne of a 25 year old man originally from Chechnya. The man is suspected of aiding and abeting in the attack. The prosecutor must decide on whether to keep him in custody before 12:00 on Wednesday, the 26th. Very little information has been released, so avoid rushing to judgement just yet.


Tuesday, 25th of April

  • The third man arrested was released late Tuesday evening and all charges have been dropped. Only one person, Akilov, is still in custody.

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