(Vatican Radio) The former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan says it warned a western ally before last week's deadly truck attack
in Stockholm that the suspected perpetrator was a recruit of the Islamic State group. Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov suggested
that last week's truck attack in the Swedish capital, in which four people died, could have been prevented.
Listen to Stefan Bos' report:
He said the man who allegedly carried out the attack, 39-year-old Rakhmat Akilov, was recruited by the Islamic State group after leaving Uzbekistan in 2014. Minister Kamilov said that information about Akilov had been passed to one of Uzebekistan's "Western partners so that the Swedish side could be informed".
Kamilov did not identify the intermediary country or organization.
Minister Kamilov said the suspect had "actively urged his compatriots to travel to Syria in order to fight for Islamic State". Akilov allegedly used online messaging services to recruit potential fighters.
It is seen as rare for the Uzbek authorities to disclose such intelligence details. Sweden's security service says it can neither confirm nor deny receiving the information from Uzbekistan.
An Uzbek security source said this week that Akilov had tried to travel to Syria
in 2015 to join the Islamic State group. But he was reportedly detained at the Turkish-Syrian border and deported back to Sweden.
Security sources said Uzbekistan authorities had in February put him on a wanted list of people suspected of religious extremism.
But Swedish police revealed last week they had intelligence on Akilov in 2016, but that they could not verify the information.
Rakhmat Akilov was detained after four people were killed and 15 injured when a truck rammed a department store in central Stockholm.
He has already guilty to terrorist crimes. However Swedish prosecutor Hans Ihrman said the investigation is still ongoing. “We’ll do whatever we can to
get all the guilty persons and put them in front of the court. If there is one person or others. That is what we are investigating right now.
That is our main purpose,” he said.
No group has claimed the Stockholm attack. Suspect Akilov reportedly ran from the scene of the crash, still covered in blood and glass, and was
detained later in a northern suburb of Stockholm.
He reportedly left a wife and four children behind in Uzbekistan to earn money to send home.