The attacker is alleged to have worked as a security guard in a Viennese hospital during the first corona lockdown. This was stated by a close acquaintance of the assassin, who is suspected of complicity by the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office, in an interrogation after his arrest. According to the information given, the assassin as well as a second suspected Salafist, who is now in custody as a possible accomplice or confidant, were employed in the hospital in spring as security personnel, whereby the employment relationship was probably concluded directly with the security company rather than with the hospital owner.The security service was “organised on a day-to-day basis through a WhatsApp group”, according to the assassin’s acquaintance, who accompanied the terrorist to his trial in which the subsequent assassin was convicted of terrorist involvement in April 2019. He himself had also been asked “whether I would like to earn some extra money in the security service on the side”, but refused. His friends and acquaintances were aware of the Islamist sentiments of the later assassin.Despite the efforts of Derad, an association specialising in de-radicalisation, where the 20-year-old had to attend mandatory appointments after his parole, his Salafi sentiments are unlikely to have subsided, but rather to have strengthened. This is suggested by information provided by some of those arrested as possible confidants or accomplices.The 20-year-old had once told him “that his greatest dream was to blow himself up with a belt of explosives”, a suspect of complicity told the Office for the Protection of the Constitution the day after the attack. Where and when he wanted to do “that”, the assassin had not told him. He himself had had no indications of an upcoming terrorist attack and had not suspected that he would actually commit an attack.
Another accused said in his police interrogation that the man had “advocated the enforcement of Sharia law as the supreme legal basis” and described the constitutional state as “not able to function”.
Among the ten men in custody who are suspected of having been privy to the assassin’s murderous plans or of having assisted in preparatory acts, there are some who, after their arrest, have not concealed their own Islamist views.
“Islam is my world. Of course I would like the whole world to become one big Islamic state, but that is unreal and illusionary”, a 22-year-old told the Vienna State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (LVT). He spoke out in favour of the Sharia. This is a legally binding rule, “we do not need to discuss it”. Another suspect stated that he would welcome the introduction of Muslim enclaves in Austria.