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Swedish Backlash Over Refugee Terrorist Goes All the Way to the Top

04-11-2017
swedentruckattack

Sweden's prime minister is reacting strongly to news that the main suspect in Friday's terrorist attack is an immigrant who was rejected for asylum in Sweden.

"Sweden will never go back to the (mass migration) we had in autumn 2015, never," said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

The attacker is believed to be Rakhat Akilov, a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan.
 
A Swedish lawyer says Akilov has admitted guilt in the terrorist attack that left four people dead and 15 others wounded.

The suspect allegedly drove a stolen beer truck into a crowd outside an upscale department in central Stockholm store last Friday.

He was detained by police hours later and arrested early Saturday.

The lawyer says Akilov "acknowledges the terrorist charge and agrees to be arrested."

Police said Akilov was known to have been sympathetic to extremist organizations but that there was nothing to indicate he might plan an attack. His Swedish residency application was rejected last year.

"Everyone who has been denied a permit should return home," said Mr. Löfven.

"This makes me feel enormously frustrated," he added. "If you have been denied a visa you are supposed to leave the country."

Friday's attack shocked Swedes who pride themselves on their open-door policies toward migrants and refugees. Many expressed fears that something had gone badly wrong.

In 2015, a record 163,000 asylum-seekers arrived in Sweden - the highest per capita rate in Europe. The government responded by tightening border controls and curtailing some immigrant rights.   

 

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