Stockholm truck attack suspect confesses to a 'terrorist crime'

The lawyer for the main suspect in Friday's truck attack that killed four people in Sweden says the man "admits to a terrorist crime" and accepts he will be arrested.

His lawyer later revealed that Akilov has described his motives to authorities, but the judge had ordered the lawyer not to discuss details of the case in public.

The Stockholm court earlier turned down Akilov's request for a new defense attorney — a Sunni lawyer — to replace Eriksson.

Akilov, 39, is the man who is believed to be responsible for the attack in central Stockholm on Friday afternoon, Xinhua quoted Swedish Television (SVT) which cited police, as saying.

Akilov, a construction worker who was refused permanent residency in Sweden in June 2016, went underground a year ago after receiving a deportation order, police said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The court refused the request. Fifteen others were injured, four critically. National police Commissioner Dan Eliasson said "there was nothing in the system that indicated (he) would do something like he did on Friday".

Akilov, who entered the courtroom with a green sweater over his head before being seated between his lawyer and translator, was arrested just hours after the attack.

An official ceremony was held at the same time outside Stockholm's City Hall, attended by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, King Carl XVI Gustaf and most of the royal family, and Stockholm mayor Karin Wanngard.

Police said that ever since Akilov was denied residency in Sweden, he has been sympathising with the Islamic State.

In 2015, a record 163,000 asylum-seekers arrived in the country - the highest per capita rate in Europe.

Expressen reported Sunday he had allegedly confessed to the crime, telling investigators he was "pleased with what he had done" and had "accomplished what he set out to do". Authorities have asked for a similar hearing for the second suspect to take place no later than Wednesday.

He told reporters during a visit to western Sweden that, "Sweden has been attacked".

"He was not under a current security investigation but he was known to us", said Anders Thornberg, chief of the Swedish Security Service.

  • Leroy Wright