Sweden unites after soul-wrenching attack

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Sweden stockholm attack
Stockholm citizens honor the victims that tragically passed away and were injured during the recent terrorist attack in Sweden. Photo by Matkus Schreiber/AP

When we are children, we’re scared of monsters under our bed, however, as we grow up we realize they hide under masks, rather than a bed or closet.

One of these monsters decided to attack Stockholm, Sweden. As SVT reports, a truck was driving along a busy street in Stockholm during a Friday afternoon on April 7, when the driver decided to hit several pedestrians.

The truck drove into a popular shopping center and crashed into several bottles of perfume and then erupted into flames. Four people lost their lives, one of them was an 11-year-old girl on her way home from school.

An additional fifteen people were injured, some of them critically. After committing the crime, the terrorist fled the scene covered in glass and blood. Witnesses describe the scene as unimaginable. Some people tried to do CPR on the victims until the police arrived. The scene was described as a bloody sight filled with screams and tears, looking like something out of a war.

A man, Rakhmat Akilov, was arrested five hours after the attack. Akilov traveled from his native country of Uzbekistan to Sweden in hopes of seeking asylum to earn money to send back to his wife and children.
He was, however, denied the residential permit last year. He was ordered to leave but remained in the country illegally, and was put on a wanted list.
He instead moved into an apartment in southern Stockholm together with other Uzbek citizens. Before being denied, Akilov had been working in construction and later lost his job due to falling asleep during work hours.

He had been described as a reserved person who didn’t stick out of the crowd. Despite claiming to subscribe to the Islamic faith, he went against the doctrine with his love for alcohol, parties, and not praying five times a day.

While he may have seemed like a regular guy walking down the streets of the Swedish capital, his online presence hid something more sinister.

His Facebook page, which has been removed, contained contact with several extremists and ISIS propaganda videos. Akilov is reported to having confessed to the terrorist crime; further development of the case has not yet been released.

As if the despairing attack wasn’t enough, more sorrow was to come for the grieving family of the victims.
The 11-year-old girl who passed, had the photo of her at the attack going around on social media. Many of her classmates were sent the horrifying photo. The photos of the other victims also spread around on Snapchat and Facebook.

Despite the disgusting deed of sending out photos of dead victims, it isn’t against the law. Since the victim isn’t alive, it can’t be a crime towards them; however, it’s still a despicable act.

The city’s residents came together two days after the attack to honor the victims. Tens of thousands showed up to prove love is greater than hatred. A moment of silence was held throughout the country the following day. Indeed, in times of terror, it’s important we stick together and not let monsters take us down.

The attack is eerily similar to the London attack that happened a few weeks prior. Both perpetrators drove a vehicle by a populated area and killed around the same amount of people and injured many.

Both attacks seem to be linked to ISIS and committed by men who claim to subscribe to Islam, yet stray so far from their faith, it’s a disgrace. It’s a frightening time in Europe with it being plagued with two attacks, that seem to be closely linked.

We can only hope that these monsters will retreat into the closet or under the bed, never to see sunlight again.