Police in Austria conducts raid on dozens of addresses linked to radical Islamists

WION Web Team
Vienna, Austria Updated: Nov 09, 2020, 02:04 PM(IST)

Vienna shooting Photograph:( Reuters )

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It comes after Austria's interior and integration ministers ordered the closure of 'radical mosques' after a deadly attack by a jihadist in Vienna in which four people were killed

Austrian police launched raids on more than 60 addresses allegedly linked to radical Islamists in four different regions Monday, with orders given for 30 suspects to be questioned, prosecutors said.

The Styria region prosecutors' office said in a statement it was "carrying out investigations against more than 70 suspects and against several associations which are suspected of belonging to and supporting the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas organisations".

It stressed, "the operation has no connection to the terror attack in Vienna of November 2".

It comes after Austria's interior and integration ministers ordered the closure of "radical mosques" after a deadly attack by a jihadist in Vienna in which four people were killed.

Austria, a country of 8.9 million people, has roughly 600,000 Muslim inhabitants, most of whom are Turkish or have families of Turkish origin.

The Islamic religious community IGGO said freedom of religion was an important value, but it must also be protected from within its own ranks. It said it worked with the authorities to close the mosque.

After Friday prayers at a mosque in Vienna, Imam Salim Mujkanovic condemned the attack and said: "Today it was a call to the youths who might not have had such a tight link (to the extremists) via the internet or personally, but there is a danger that they might be involved in this in the future."

Austria has arrested 15 people in connection with the attack. A Vienna court ordered eight of them, aged 16-24, to be detained in custody, it said on Friday.

"They are strongly suspected of having contributed to the crimes of murder, belonging to a terrorist organisation and a criminal organisation by supporting the attacker in the run-up to the attack," the court said, adding that its ruling was initially valid until Nov. 20.

Police in Germany on Friday searched homes and businesses linked to four people believed to have had ties to the shooter, whom Austrian authorities have described as an Islamist terrorist.

Switzerland has also arrested two men who the authorities there said knew the attacker.

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