Stockholm radical Islamic terror attacker Rakhmat Akilov was sentenced to life in prison by a Swedish court this week after being found guilty of terrorism, five counts of murder, and 119 counts of attempted murder.
Akilov, who drove a truck down Stockholm’s busy pedestrian shopping area on April 7th of last year killing five people, was given a life sentence and upon serving his time will be expelled from Sweden and never allowed to return, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The 40-year-old failed asylum seeker from Uzbekistan was known to have had discussions with the Islamic State terrorist group prior to the attack through the encrypted messaging app Telegram and another witness claimed he had expressed support for the group a full year before the attack took place.
“It is not believed that he belonged to any terrorist organisation,” chief judge Ragnar Palmqvist said but added that an offender could be found guilty of terrorist offences if the crime were severe enough.
At a press conference following the verdict and sentencing, it was announced that families of the victims who died in the attack would receive 60,000 Swedish krona (£5,155) in compensation while moderately injured victims would receive 120,000 krona (£10,741) and seriously injured victims would be entitled to 150,000 krona (£12,889).
Akilov’s defence attorney Johan Eriksson said his client was “disappointed that he was sentenced to life. He now wants to think for few days whether he wants to appeal or not.”
The attack last year was the first major radical Islamic terror attack to occur in Sweden, where the number of radical extremists has grown dramatically over the years.
A report from the Swedish security agency Säpo revealed last July that since 2010 the number of violent radical Islamic extremists had increased tenfold from only 200 to over 2,000.
Researcher Peder Hyllengren of the Swedish Defence College claimed earlier this year that Sweden had become a “base” for Islamic extremism with Swedish extremists being a part of large international Islamist networks.