- Immediately after the attack, the perpetrator was shot and killed by police.
- Shots were fired at six different locations.
- The motive for the attack has not yet been established.
Four people— two men, and two women— were killed on Monday night after Islamist terrorists, armed with automatic rifles, opened fire in various places in the Austrian capital, Vienna. Aside from those killed, 15 others were seriously injured. One of them was a police officer. Many of those wounded remain in critical condition.
The information is courtesy of Austria’s Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, who addressed a press conference in regard to the attack. Immediately after the attack, the perpetrator was shot and killed by police.
According to the Interior Minister, the slain perpetrator, Fejzulai Kujtim, a 20-year-old Austrian man from the town of St. Poelten, was an Islamic State sympathizer. He was heavily armed during the attack, and wore a dummy depicting a bomb belt.
According to the police, the attacker had North Macedonian roots and a criminal record for affiliation with a terrorist organization. The Interior Minister stated at the press conference that there is a high possibility that there was more than one perpetrator behind the attack, but added that investigations are still ongoing.
According to the country’s police, the first shots were fired shortly after 8 PM local time on a street filled with cafes and restaurants. Shots were fired at six different locations, according to Reuters.
The attack took place in front of a synagogue , which was closed due to the coronavirus. Vienna’s Chief Rabbi, Schlomo Hofmeister, has told LBC Radio that he saw the attack take place from his window in the synagogue. He said:
“Upon hearing shots, we looked down [from] the windows and saw the gunmen shooting at the guests of the various bars and pubs. The gunmen were running around and shooting at least 100 rounds or even more in front of our building.”
Minister: Stay at Home
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer has called upon the residents of Vienna to stay indoors as a result of the attack and the uncertainty about the number of perpetrators. He has also asked them not to send their children to school on Tuesday.
The minister announced last night that the Austrian military has been called in, and will guard the city while police hunt for the perpetrators. In Austria’s neighboring Czech Republic, border controls have been put in place in the event that one or more of the perpetrators try to cross the border.
The motive for the attack has not yet been established, but according to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the fact that it is an anti-Semitic attack cant be ruled out, as it was effected in front of the city’s largest synagogue.
Unlike many of its European neighbors, Austria has previously been spared violent terrorist attacks. Yesterday’s attack takes place shortly after France has also been subjected to several terrorist attacks in recent times, where perpetrators have attacked civilians with knives.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, like many other heads of state, has sent his condolences to the people of Austria. The Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, has also sent sent his condolences to Austria following the attack.