Sweden: Ikea stabbing suspect was declined residency permit

AP News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2015 2:51 PM
Sweden: Ikea stabbing suspect was declined residency permit

HELSINKI (AP) — Officials said Wednesday the main suspect in a knife attack that killed two people at an Ikea store in central Sweden was due to be deported soon, after his application for a residency permit was rejected last month.

The Migration Agency said the 35-year-old Eritrean-born man, who was living in an asylum center, had met to discuss his case with agency staff hours before Monday's attack in the city of Vasteras, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of the capital Stockholm.

Agency spokeswoman Johanna Mahlen said officials had twice rejected a residency application from the suspect since he arrived in Sweden in 2013, reportedly from Italy where he had been a fisherman. She declined to comment further or give more details.

The attack came as Europe grapples with a swelling migrant problem with tens of thousands of refugees fleeing fighting in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and economic migrants arriving from the Middle East and North Africa. Many arrive in Italy or go further in the European Union to countries such as Germany or Sweden.

Vasteras police said they were not aware of any motive for the attack that killed a 28-year-old Swedish man and his 55-year-old mother, and were waiting to question the main suspect after he recovers from surgery for unspecified severe injuries. They were also holding another Eritrean-born, 23-year-old man, who has denied involvement in the stabbing.

Sweden's security police, responsible for investigating terror cases, earlier said they had no reason to suspect the attack was terror-linked.