Terror Attack in Vienna - Perpetrator Was Sympathizer of the Islamic State

More+More+ ♦ Published: November 3, 2020; 08:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

One of the assassins was an Islamic State (IS) sympathizer, further investigations are underway in the suspect's environment. Around 1,000 law enforcement officers are deployed. At least one perpetrator is still fugitive and is classified as very dangerous. Minister Nehammer added in a press conference, that caution was still required and that one should stay at home if possible.

The so-called Islamic state is a Salafi militia with thousands of members, which has been operating as a terrorist since 2003 and was a jihadist state-building project declared a caliphate. / Picture: © Wikipedia / Ritsaiph

"Austria has been a strong democracy for more than 75 years, which is characterized by values and fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, the rule of law and tolerance," said Interior Minister Nehammer at a press conference at the Ministry of the Interior.

"Yesterday's attack is an attack on precisely these values, which we will not tolerate under any circumstances, in any way or by anyone". There will be consequences accordingly, Nehammer emphasized.

One of the heavily armed assassins was a sympathizer of the terrorist militia IS, said Nehammer.

Currently, intensive investigations and measures are being carried out in the perpetrator's environment.

The perpetrator's apartment had been violently opened and searched with explosives.

Further details of the investigations cannot be said at present for operational tactical reasons.

"My thoughts are with the dead and injured persons as well as their relatives," said Nehammer. Among the injured was also a seriously injured police officer.

"We currently have increased surveillance of the public space, especially the critical infrastructure area is secured," said Nehammer. "In this context, I would like to expressly state that it is a great honor for me to preside over the ministry, where police officers performed outstanding work just yesterday".

Continued caution advised

The following still applies to people in Vienna: "Stay at home, if this is possible in your job and avoid Vienna's city center. The police continue to carry out meticulous investigations here".

At least one perpetrator was still fugitive and was classified as very dangerous.

On Wednesday, 3 November 2020, compulsory school attendance will be suspended for all children attending school in Vienna. If it is possible for parents, they should keep their children at home, said the Minister of the Interior. If this is not possible, children can still be brought to school. The educational institutions are open for the care of pupils.

Around 1,000 law enforcement officers deployed

"The consistent and targeted police measures have continued uninterruptedly over the past few hours," said Franz Ruf, Director General for Public Security.

"There are currently about 1,000 executive forces in Vienna. Among them are special task forces of the EKO Cobra/DSE, WEGA as well as special investigation teams of the Federal and State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism".

Upload Platform of the Police

Immediately after the attack became known, the police set up an upload platform for image, sound and video files under the following link.

Via this platform, people can send the police recordings of the incident that are considered helpful.

"More than 20,000 videos have already been uploaded," said the Director General. "A 35-member team of investigators has already been able to evaluate around 20 percent of the material."