Stockholm attack: ‘Suspect device’ in Sweden crash lorry

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This picture taken on April 8, 2017, shows the truck that crashed into the Ahlens department store at Drottninggatan in central Stockholm the day before

The lorry was driven into the front of a department store

Swedish police have confirmed they discovered a suspect device inside the lorry which was driven into a Stockholm department store on Friday.

The device was found in the driver’s seat, National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson said, but it was not known whether it was a bomb.

Mr Eliasson also said the suspect in custody was from Uzbekistan, 39, and known to security services.

The hijacked lorry driven into Ahlens department store in central Stockholm.

Four people were killed – 10 remain in hospital, including a child. Two are in intensive care.

Eyewitnesses: Lorry was ‘trying to hit people’

What do we know about the suspect?

The suspect, who was not named, was known to the security services.

However, he had only been seen as a “marginal character”, Mr Eliasson said.

The head of Swedish security police, Anders Thornberg, said the suspect had not been “part of any of the security police’s ongoing investigations”, but was “a person who has previously figured in our intelligence flow”.

Person of interest in Stockholm attack: a young, hooded man
Image captionPolice wanted to speak to this man – a suspect matching his description was later arrested

Mr Eliasson said police had reason to believe the suspect was the man behind the attack.

But he added: “We still cannot rule out that more people are involved.”

It is not clear if the suspect was resident in Sweden.

Was there a bomb in the lorry?

Police say it is too early to tell what the “technical device” in the lorry was – only that “it should not be there”.

“I cannot say at this stage that this is a bomb or some sort of flammable material,” Mr Eliasson said.

“We are doing a technical investigation.”

 Media caption What we know about the Stockholm lorry attack

What is the Swedish government doing?

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called it a terrorist attack, with borders tightened at his request.

“Terrorists want us to be afraid, want us to change our behaviour, want us to not live our lives normally, but that is what we’re going to do.”

“Terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never,” Mr Lofven said.

“We’re also determined to continue to be an open society; a democratic society.”

A woman lays a Swedish flag at a makeshift memorial near the site
Image captionA memorial has been set up near the site

The mayor of Stockholm, Karin Wanngard, reiterated that Stockholm was open.

“This is not an attack that’s about the colour of your skin,” she said.

“We can show that with good integration, with an openness and a friendly behaviour, we are stronger together and it doesn’t matter where you come from.”

Has Sweden experienced similar attacks before?

Sweden has generally low crime rates, and has been ranked as one of the safest countries in the world.

A forensic police officer investigates at the site where a truck slammed into a crowd yesterday outside a busy department store, in central Stockholm, on April 8, 2017Image copyrightAFP
Image captionForensic police are investigating the sight of the lorry attack

In 2010, two bombs detonated in central Stockholm, killing the attacker – an Iraq-born Swedish man – and injuring two others.

In October 2015, a masked man who was believed to have far-right sympathies killed a teacher and pupil in a sword attack.

In February, US President Donald Trump cited a non-existent terror attack in Sweden, and blamed it on the country’s asylum policy – baffling many Swedes.

Sweden has taken in nearly 200,000 refugees and migrants in recent years – more per capita than any other European country.

However, there was a drop in numbers last year after the country introduced new border checks.

Separately, Sweden is believed to have the highest number of Islamic State group fighters per capita in Europe.

About 140 of the 300 who went to Syria and Iraq have since returned, leaving the authorities to grapple with how best to reintegrate them into society.

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