Austrian authorities steps up safety of church buildings after Vienna assault in run-up to Christmas


Austria has begun tightening safety at its church buildings and different websites of spiritual worship, fearing copycat assaults after an Islamist gunman killed 4 folks in a rampage earlier this month within the capital Vienna.

The attacker could have additionally supposed to focus on homes of worship, Inside Minister Karl Nehammer stated on Thursday.

“It can’t be dominated out that the perpetrator additionally wished to intentionally hunt down victims in church buildings,” Nehammer informed reporters, citing the investigation’s findings. “There’ll due to this fact be a bolstered safety of church services as of at present.”

Presently, there isn’t any concrete risk towards locations of worship, however the minister defined that safety is being tightened towards potential copycat assaults within the “delicate section” of the run-up to Christmas.

Nehammer stated that extra police will probably be current in entrance of church buildings, synagogues and different non secular establishments. He additionally careworn the necessity for “social solidarity” to “struggle terrorism collectively.”

In accordance with the minister, the “fast response” officers and cellular patrols of the Cobra taskforce with armored automobiles and heavy tools will probably be utilized in case of terrorist threats, or occasions during which assaults can’t be dominated out.

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The 60-member group inspecting the November 2 assault is investigating 21 folks, and 10 suspects are remanded in custody over alleged hyperlinks to the Vienna assault. The perpetrator, a 20-year-old man who was born and raised in Vienna, was shot useless by police after firing at passersby on the road and in bars.

Authorities in Austria have admitted “insupportable errors” had been made within the dealing with of intelligence on the attacker. Police had been conscious of a “persistent and elevated threat” of Islamist terrorist assaults, in line with a report printed by the Inside Ministry in 2019. It warned of the “elevated hazard of Islamist-motivated assaults” in Europe by radicalized particular person perpetrators or autonomously appearing small teams.

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