The terrorist attack in Stockholm, Sweden, claimed the lives of several innocent civilians. It has emerged that the first victim was Maïlys Dereymaeker, 31, who was a mother of an 18-month-old and psychologist that worked with asylum seekers about to be deported.
Dereymaeker had been waiting on friends when terrorist Rakhmat Akhmat Akilov, an asylum seeker, plowed into her in the truck that he hijacked in what appeared to be an ISIS-related incident.
Dereymaeker was a psychologist that worked in detention centers for Belgium’s Immigration Office and most of her patients were men just like the asylum-seeker turned terrorist. She counseled them before they were deported back to their home countries.
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Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad reports that Dereymaeker was “always seeking meetings” with illegal migrants in detention, stating a desire to understand them better and to “build bridges”.
“It’s difficult for me to talk about her death,” a friend told local media. “She played the flute and taught music to children.”
Members of the orchestra were distraught at the news of her death, describing the 31-year-old as “really positive about life” and telling media that she was “always smiling”.
Police chief Erik Nord called for Sweden to deport migrants who vocalise support for “violent extremism” when it emerged that the perpetrator of the deadly truck attack had posted Islamic State propaganda on Facebook and ‘liked’ pictures of casualties after the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013.
But Justice Minister Morgan Johansson slapped down the suggestion and demanded the police chief “explain himself”.
Defending the right of extremists to stay in Sweden, the Social Democratic party politician pointed to the nation’s “freedom of speech”, but added that this doesn’t include “hate speech”.
Johansson also warned that migrants could risk “persecution” in their homelands, if they were deported.