126 Islamist “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” residing in Austria

126 “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” known to the state security authorities – persons who had travelled or wanted to travel abroad in order to join a terrorist organisation there as fighters or at least supporters – were residing in Austria at the end of 2020. This is the result of the answer given by Interior Minister Karl Nehammer ( Austrian People’s Party/ÖVP) to a parliamentary question by the Freedom Party (FPÖ).As is well known, the Vienna assassin, who killed four passers-by in the downtown area on November 2, 2020, before being shot dead by the police, also belonged to this group. The North Macedonian-Austrian citizen wanted to travel to Syria in autumn 2018 to join the radical Islamist terrorist militia “Islamic State” (IS), but was arrested in Turkey, deported to Austria and sentenced to 22 months in prison for terrorist association in Vienna at the beginning of 2019, from which he was released conditionally early in December 2019. His travel companion, who had been arrested together with him in Turkey, has been in pre-trial detention in Vienna since last November on charges of possible complicity.Of the 126 known “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” residing in Austria, 49 have Austrian citizenship. Six others are dual nationals, holding both Austrian and German citizenship. The competent provincial offices for the protection of the constitution and counter-terrorism (LVT) have applied for their citizenship to be revoked; according to Nehammer, the corresponding procedures are underway.A total of 334 “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” are known by name to the domestic state security authorities (as of December 2020). Among these persons, 72 have died – presumably mainly in combat operations. At last count, 104 of them were being wanted or their whereabouts had not been clarified.


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