Vienna Shooting: Austria Hunts 'Islamic Terror Attack' Suspects

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Vienna Shooting: Austria Hunts 'Islamic Terror Attack' Suspects

The hunt is on in Austria for 'Islamic terrorists' who opened fire on members of the public in Vienna at six different locations in the city-centre. Four people are now confirmed dead after a group of men brandishing assault rifles fired on groups of people sitting in cafes and restaurants. Dozens more were wounded.

One of the gunmen was shot dead by Austrian police, the others however are still at large, they are considered extremely dangerous and likely planning further attacks. The attack took place just hours before a new CoVid-19 lockdown was due to be imposed in the country. One of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest that authorities now believe is fake.

The gunman who was killed has been described as a 20-year-old ISIS supporter with known links to the group. He was previously jailed for 22 months in Austria, and later released, after trying to get to Syria to join the jihadi movement during the civil war. He is believed to be of North Macedonian descent.

Surrounding nations have sealed their borders with Austria in order to stop the attackers from fleeing.

The attack began when the terrorists shot at those sitting in a café next to a synagogue. It was initially thought that the synagogue was the focus of the attack though it was empty at the time. Vienna Community Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister recounted the scene to LBC News London. He said:

"They were attacking the guests of bars and pubs. People were jumping and running, falling over the tables, running inside the bars followed by the gunmen also running inside the bars."

The synagogue had been attacked previously by Palestinian terrorists in 1981. This attack involved a machine-gun being used on worshippers which resulted in 2 people being killed and dozens being wounded.

The Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, in a tweet of thanks to the New Zealand Prime Minister who offered her condolences, said:

"#Austria will not be intimidated by such horrific acts of terror. Together we will defend our open societies and democratic values."

The Chancellor had only days before strongly condemned the terror attacks that have taken place in France, including the beheading of a history teacher who showed a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed in class, the murder of 3 people at a church in Nice, and the shooting of a Greek Orthodox priest in Lyon. He had said:

"#France and with it #Europe were again attacked today by evil Islamist terrorism. I fully condemn the Islamist terrorist attack in a church in #Nice as well as the other attacks. In these difficult hours my thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims."

The Chancellor has a record of strong vocal opposition to political Islam and this may be why Vienna was chosen as a specific target at this time, this does, however, remain speculative. Vienna has a long history in relation to Islam in Europe, as it was where the Ottoman Empire was finally defeated in its European expansion during its medieval conquests. This could be a symbolic reason as to why Vienna was chosen as a target, but again this is speculative.

It is hoped the suspects are apprehended quickly as it is feared that they will attempt to carry out further attacks.

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Thinking Humanity: Vienna Shooting: Austria Hunts 'Islamic Terror Attack' Suspects
Vienna Shooting: Austria Hunts 'Islamic Terror Attack' Suspects
The hunt is on in Austria for Islamic terrorists who opened fire on members of the public in Vienna at six different locations in the city-centre. Fou
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