Following another arrest in the case of the Islamist attack in Vienna last autumn, the suspicion that the attacker was part of a network has been strengthened. As became known at the weekend, the Austrian special unit “Cobra” had arrested a 21-year-old Austrian with Egyptian roots on Friday morning.
He is suspected of having obtained the assault rifle used by Kujtim F. to kill four people and injure several others on November 2, 2020. Like the assassin, the suspect who has now been arrested received welfare payments. In the meantime, more than 20 Islamists have been arrested, including some in Switzerland, who are said to be part of a network.
According to German security authorities, Kujtim F. had also had close ties to Germany. Muslims in Osnabrück contacted him via Facebook and Instagram until shortly before the attack in early November. The group had run a secret prayer room and organised paintball games in Rheine, Westphalia, among other places, to train to fight against ” infidels”.
Meanwhile, the reopening of a mosque in Vienna, which had been closed after the attack, is causing criticism. The bomber is also said to have been active in the Tewhid mosque. The internal arbitration court of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ) has now decided to return legal personality to the community.
Austria’s Minister of Culture Susanne Raab ( Austrian People’s Party) called the decision “absolutely incomprehensible and irresponsible”. This is precisely the mosque “where the Vienna bomber stayed several times and where, according to the security authorities, his radicalisation was encouraged”. Moreover, the Islamic Religious Community itself had described the mosque as a Salafist institution.
Raab demanded that the IGGÖ “act consistently and with all determination against any form of extremism. Mosques are not a lawless area,” the Austrian People’s Party politician told the APA news agency. Once again, she said, the planned tightening up of the law to prevent extremism was necessary.