STOCKHOLM — An Uzbek man who carried out a deadly attack on Stockholm last year swore allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video and wrote that he wanted ‘‘to scare the infidels and leave my life,’’ prosecutors said Tuesday as his trial began.
Rakhmat Akilov appeared before the Stockholm District Court for ramming a stolen truck into a crowd in the Swedish capital, killing five people and injuring 14 others because he wanted to punish Sweden for joining a coalition against the group that calls itself the Islamic State.
He is charged with terror-related murder and attempted murder. The prosecution has asked that he receive a life sentence and be extradited from Sweden. Prosecutor Hans Ihrman said the trial has implications across Europe for those fighting to halt extremist attacks.
Akilov, who has confessed to the attack, wore handcuffs as he entered the high-security courtroom. Ihrman described how Akilov drove a stolen beer truck into a busy Stockholm shopping street last April, and how he was arrested hours later. A British man, a Belgian woman, and three Swedes were killed.
Akilov was born in Uzbekistan and worked there as a construction worker. He came to Sweden in 2014 and applied for asylum, claiming he had been persecuted. His application was rejected, and he was ordered to leave Sweden in December 2016.
Instead, he went underground, eluding authorities’ attempts to track him down. Sweden’s domestic intelligence agency has said that it had nothing indicating that he was planning an attack.