Questions arose in Austria on Wednesday about how a person guilty of the Islamic State convicted could carry out a deadly shooting in the center of Vienna.
Investigators are trying to gather more information on the gunman’s siege after arresting 14 people following Monday’s shooting, the first major attack in Austria in decades and the first to fall. fault for a jihadi warrior.
The attacker, 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, an Austro-Macedonian national, was convicted and sentenced to prison last April for attempting to go to Syria and join IS.
But he was released during probation in December, before the end of his 22-month sentence, and was transferred to anti-extremist groups.
The Islamic State group ̵1; which has announced multiple attacks in Europe – said on Tuesday a “caliphate soldier” responsible for the shooting left four people dead and more injured.
The gunman opened fire indiscriminately in the historic center of the city just hours before Austria imposed a ban on the coronavirus, as people exited bars and restaurants enjoying a final night of relative freedom. .
Vienna’s streets returned to normal on Wednesday – albeit under viral restrictions – after most schools and shops closed after the attack.
– ‘Definitely wrong’ –
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz has described the decision to release Fejzulai – who was shot dead by police on Monday night – as “definitely wrong”.
“If he is not released then the terrorist attack will not happen,” Kurz told public broadcaster ORF on Tuesday.
Austria’s top security director, Franz Ruf, told local media that at his final session on a publicly funded anti-extremist program in late October, Fejzulai condemned the attacks. Recent jihad in France.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer on Tuesday said the attacker had successfully “fooled” the programs to achieve his early release.
Nehammer said his case showed a “crack” in the system and that the raid on Fejzulai’s home after the attack revealed ample evidence of his radical stance.
He mentions a Facebook post in which Fejzulai poses with a Kalashnikov and a machete he will use in the attack, along with IS slogans.
– ‘Why don’t they notice?’ –
Nikolaus Rast, the lawyer representing Fejzulai last year, told AFP on Wednesday: “Nobody would have thought he could do things like this.
He also raised questions about possible scrutiny of the anti-extremism programs that Fejzulai attended.
“Don’t want to blame someone, if they’re experts, why don’t they notice anything?” Rast said.
“They must have the most – and ultimately – contact him.”
Police are currently working on the assumption that Fejzulai is the sole gunman, after authorities were initially concerned about the consequences of the attack that there could be more than one attacker.
They have carried out 18 raids and arrested 14 murders, and Ruf said it is possible that some of the people being questioned by police may be accomplices.
The investigation is spanning many countries, with Switzerland making two arrests and Macedonia, where Fejzulai has a family origin, in cooperation with Austrian authorities.
Kurz on Tuesday called for an EU response to “political Islam”, saying this ideology was “dangerous” to Europe’s freedoms and values.
His office said Wednesday that he contacted French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss joint initiatives in the fight against terrorism.
The re-publishing of the cartoon about the Prophet Mohammed in France has recently caused renewed tension around the world, sparking protests in some Muslim majority countries and calling for some groups Terror revenge.
jsk / txw