Swedish police have released new information showing Stockholm terrorist Rakhmat Akilov used a private Islamic State chatroom on an encrypted messaging service to seek advice before his attack, after similar chats were dismissed as ‘fake news’ by Swedish media last year.
The investigation into the attack has shown that the failed Uzbek asylum seeker had used an encrypted messaging app called Zello to openly seek advice from Islamic State operatives before the Stockholm terror attack, Expressen reports.
Investigators say that Akilov wrote to one of the administrators of the Islamic State channel saying: “My master I am in Sweden, I do not have any actions, the gay parade will take place here on May 1st, if I get someone who can coordinate, I’ll do a martyring here, if God wants.”
The Swedish security service (Säpo) say that they have tracked down 13 users with suspected Islamic State ties on Zello, Telegram, Whatsapp, and Facebook, who had been in direct contact with Akilov.
On the day of the terror attack, on April 7th of last year, Akilov sent several pictures on Zello to his Islamic State contacts showing his location, and eventually the interior of the lorry he used to mow down his victims.
Last year, a Russian Twitter account, which claims to track radical Islamic extremists in former Soviet republics, produced a chat log showing Akilov speaking to Islamic State operatives. Swedish left-wing newspaper Dagens Nyheter dismissed the evidence as ‘fake news’, claiming that the account was a “parody” and likely Russian propaganda.
The news comes shortly after Dagens Nyheter and a number of other major Swedish media organisations announced they would be cooperating editorially to prevent the spread of so-called ‘fake news’.
The Swedish government, through the state fund for research and development Vinnova, has also put forward 13.5 million krona (£1.2 million) for a number of projects to combat ‘fake news’, including one involving mainstream media organisations.