MALMO, Sweden — A 39-year-old Islamic State supporter of Uzbek origin was arrested Friday night on suspicion of driving a truck through a crowd of people in central Stockholm, leaving four dead.
The man reportedly stole the truck from a delivery driver moments before he attacked the busy Drottninggatan and later crashed into a department store. The driver then fled to the closest subway station and hopped on northbound train to take him out of the city.
Police arrested him in the suburb of Marsta hours later after a tip from locals. The suspect had minor injuries and immediately confessed. The truck allegedly contained explosive material.
“The person in question has been arrested as the perpetrator … in this case the driver,” police spokesman Lars Bystrom said Saturday. “Then, there can be other people who are associated with him, but we do not know that at the current time.”
Local newspaper Aftonbladet reports the man is a 39-year-old father of four who lives in the area but is an Uzbek citizen. Aftonbladet claims he posted ISIS propaganda videos on his Facebook page and “liked” an image of helpless victims from the Boston Marathon attack in April 2013.
A friend of the suspect told Aftonbladet the man works in construction and sends his paychecks back to his family in Uzbekistan.
“He has four kids and works in construction. He never talks about politics or religion. The only thing he talks about is getting more jobs so he can send money back to his family,” the friend told Aftonbladet.
CCTV footage captured the panic on Drottninggatan as the truck flew by at a high speed.
Nine people remain in critical condition at the hospital and six victims have been released so far.
Swedish authorities have tightened security and imposed temporary border controls for 10 days to prevent another attack from happening.
“This was an absolutely necessary decision and logical decision considering what has happened,” Patrik Engström, head of the national border police, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
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