Last Friday, only hours after the terrorist attack in central Stockholm, police found themselves pelted by rocks in the city’s largely immigrant Tensta neighbourhood. The following evening, officers were once again attacked, this time in Hammarkullen in Gothenburg. On Sunday, a familiar story: rioters aimed Molotov cocktails and a fire bomb at police as unrest broke out in the area. In the days following the truck attack, Swedish newspapers had been full of defiant headlines: ‘Stockholm stands united’ and ‘Love conquers all.’ But the subsequent violence put paid to much of that: ‘Unity’ and ‘love’ are, for many Swedes, not the words that spring instantly to mind.
Much is still unknown of Rakhmat Akilov, who has admitted to driving the truck; what is clear is that he is an Uzbek national who was ordered to leave Sweden after his asylum application was rejected last summer.