Terrorist Attack in Sweden
Last week, Sweden experienced its worse terrorist attack in years as a man drove a large delivery truck through a department store, killing four, including an 11-year old girl, and wounding 15 others.
After investigating the motive behind this attack, it was determined that 39 years old, Uzbek, Rakhmat Akilov was the prime suspect in the case. Rakhmat Akilov was denied asylum in December of 2016 and was given four weeks to leave the country. It was known to police that Rakhmat Akilov was still in Sweden. However, he was doing everything he could to elude the law enforcement officials. Rakhmat Akilov is not the only asylum-seeker currently evading police. Swedish law enforcement estimates that there are approximately 12,000 denied asylum-seekers throughout Sweden who have gone on the run and have remained in the country.
Sweden, like many European countries, has experienced an influx in asylum-seekers and refugees throughout the past few years. In fact, in 2015 Sweden received a record number of asylum-seekers, which numbered around 160,000. In an attempt to reduce this number, Sweden tightened border security and reduced the number of asylum seekers and refugees permitted in the country.
A recent PEW research study shows just how much of an influx in asylum seekers there really is throughout Europe from 1985 to 2015. Sweden is currently the third most popular destination for asylum-seekers, behind Germany and Hungary. Furthermore, the amount of asylum-seeking individuals doubled in size between 2014 and 2015, leaving the Swedish government to scramble for a policy and solution to this massive increase.
On Monday over 20,000 people flooded Stockholm’s central square to show support for the victim’s families and to show unity against atrocities such as this.
On Tuesday, Rakhmat Akilov confessed to the terrorist attack and is awaiting trial.