Vienna Attack — Austrian Intelligence Ignored Briefing

  • The perpetrator of the Vienna attack had tried to buy ammunition before the attack, as revealed by Austrian Interior Minister.
  • After the attack, the authorities arrested 14 people, all aged between 18 and 28 years old, with a migratory background.
  • Chancellor Kurz stated that if he had not been released, then the attack would not have occurred.

Austrian intelligence services admit they had been briefed on an impending terror attack by their counterparts in Slovakia. However, Austria’s intelligence agencies didn’t take it seriously. The subsequent attack in Vienna on Monday by 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai claimed four lives.

Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer says the response to intelligence on the Vienna terrorist was fumbled.

As per Slovakia’s intelligence brief to Austria, the perpetrator of the Vienna attack had tried to buy ammunition before the attack, as revealed by Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer on Wednesday.

“In the last few hours information has come to light that some time before the terror attack, Slovakian intelligence informed (Austria’s domestic intelligence service) the BVT about the attacker,” Nehammer told a press conference.

“The information was that he wanted to get ammunition,” he said. “In the next steps there was clearly a failure of communication.”

Nehammer also accused his predecessor at the head of the Interior Ministry, a leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), of having weakened the functioning of the intelligence services. Faced with these management problems, he asked for an independent commission to investigate the intelligence agency’s work.

After the attack, the authorities arrested 14 people, all aged between 18 and 28 years old, with a migratory background. Some, meanwhile, had foreign citizenship. Images shared on social media show an armed man walking down the street and shooting people seemingly at random, injuring several people.

The perpetrator of the attack in Vienna, identified as Kujtim Fejzulai, was a 20-year-old Austrian man from North Macedonia, who was sympathetic to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. He had been convicted in April 2019 to 22 months in prison for having tried to travel to Syria, although he was released early from prison.

A memorial has been placed at the scene of the attack.

Last December he was able to get out of prison early under the law for juvenile crimes. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz acknowledged that this release was “without a doubt a mistake.”

Kurz stated that if he had not been released, then the attack would not have occurred, as per the Chancellor’s statements via the public radio and television.

Monday night’s attack at various points in Vienna, and was the first Islamist attack in Austrian history.

The shooting began shortly after 8 PM (7:00 PM GMT) last Monday, near Vienna’s main synagogue, as many people enjoyed one last night of open bars and restaurants before the coronavirus quarantine began at midnight. The assailant was killed at 8:09 PM.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks in the Austrian capital on Tuesday. In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the jihadist group pointed to “a soldier of the caliphate” as the person responsible for the attacks.

After the attack, Kurz asked the European Union to improve the fight against “political Islam,” an “ideology” that represents a “danger” for the “European way of life.”

The chancellor assured that they are reflecting on “joint initiatives” with French President Emmanuel Macron, who on Tuesday sent a strong warning to terrorists to keep off Europe.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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