The most livable city in the world, Vienna, the capital of small European nation Australia was under attack and outraged by several gunmen on Monday, 2 November. They opened fire at six locations in Vienna near the central synagogue on Monday, killing four and wounding 23 including a police force personnel.
Declaring it to be a terror attack Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said,”They seem to also, as far as we know, be very well equipped, with automatic weapons. So they were very well prepared. It’s definitely a terror attack.”
One of the gunmen Kujtim Fejzulai, who opened fire with a Kalashnikov in a busy area of the Austrian capital was shot dead by police. According to reports, several others remain on the loose.
“One of the perpetrators was neutralised, but several perpetrators appear to still be on the loose,” Chancellor Kurz confirmed.
And it happened on the day before the country went into a new coronavirus lockdown. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called for a European response to “political Islam”.
While the Austrian investigators on Tuesday were busy piecing together the Monday evening rampage through central Vienna, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
IS — which has claimed numerous attacks in Europe — said a “soldier of the caliphate” was responsible for the carnage. Is was presumably talking about Kujtim Fejzulai through their propaganda agency.
Austrian police shot the Kujtim dead while on rampage and later swooped on 18 different addresses and making 14 arrests while looking for possible associates and accomplices. Initial investigations point to the fact that Kujtim had acted alone.
Austraia’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the video “does not at this time show any evidence of a second attacker”.
The attacker chose the area not far from the historic sights of central Vienna, teaming with bars and restaurants.
Agencies report that investigators found incriminating evidence including a photograph recently posted on Facebook showing him carrying the automatic weapon and a machete used during the attack on Fejzulai’s computer.
He was also wearing a fake explosive belt according to the Australian police.
The attack in which a waitress, a young passer-by and an older man and woman were killed was labelled “repulsive terror attack” by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
In an interview published in Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, Chancellor Kurz is calling upon the European Union to fight against “political Islam” saying it is an ideology that poses a “danger” to the model of the European way of life.
Kujtim Fejzulai was a dual citizen of Austria and Macedonia. The investigators are now looking for clues in several countries including Switzerland and Macedonia where they have already made two arrests.
The attack followed the recent assault on churchgoers in the Mediterranean city of Nice and the beheading of a schoolteacher near Paris.
Known to Austrian police
Kujtim Fejzulai was known to the authorities and had recently been “de-radicalized” securing an early release in December from a 22 month prison sentence for terror offences.
“The perpetrator managed to fool the de-radicalisation programme of the justice system, to fool the people in it, and to get an early release,” Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said.
“It was clear that the attacker, despite all the outward signs of having integrated into society, did exactly the opposite.”
Britain on Tuesday upgraded its terrorism threat level from “substantial” to “severe”.
Germany joined the Czech Republic in stepping up checks at their borders in order to stop possible accomplices.
“The fight against these assassins and those who instigate them is our common struggle,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he is ‘deeply shocked’ by the terror attack in Vienna and offering condolences added: “We pray for, and stand firm with, our Austrian friends against acts of violence, terror and intimidation, and all they seek to undermine.
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