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Stockholm attack rare in Nordic context, says Finnish expert

University of Helsinki terrorism researcher Leena Malkki says Friday's Stockholm attack that left four people dead and fifteen injured was a very unusual incident for the Nordic countries. Meanwhile, Swedish police say they have a man in custody who is likely the attack's perpetrator.

Poliisi on eristänyt iskupaikan Tukholman keskustassa. Image: Jonas Ekstromer / EPA

People throughout Finland have been shocked by the Stockholm attack that left four people dead and fifteen injured when a man hijacked a truck and plowed through the popular Drottninggatan pedestrian street on Friday afternoon.

Speaking on Yle's TV 1 on Saturday morning, University of Helsinki terrorism researcher Leena Malkki says the attack was likely the work of Islamic extremists, though there is no confirmation of that yet.

She says the Stockholm attack mirrors recent ones carried out in Berlin, London, and Nice. She adds that there were likely several other people behind the incident other than the lone suspect who is currently in police custody.

"For this type of attack, it's rare that only one person is responsible, even if the actual attack is carried out solo," says Malkki.

Suspect in custody

Swedish police report that the man in custody, a native of Uzbekistan, is likely the perpetrator who drove the truck through the crowd of people on Friday.

According to Swedish police, there are no signs of plans for further attacks for Stockholm. A bag was found in the hijacked vehicle containing explosives, according to police sources cited by Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

SVT also reports that other people iare being questioned in connection with the attack in order to determine whether the suspect belongs to a larger network.

Such a random attack is uncommon in the Nordics, says researcher Malkki.

"If we think of the Nordic context and plans for attacks that have been uncovered, they've usually been directed against critics of Islam or, for example, synagogues," says Malkki.

Stockholm is a popular destination for Finns, as its easily accessible by ferry and plane and only about 250 miles from Helsinki.

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