Austria arrests 14 in crackdown against ISIS

Leo Timm
By Leo Timm
January 26, 2017News
Austria arrests 14 in crackdown against ISIS
A policewoman patrols over a Christmas market in Salzburg on December 20, 2016, as security measures are taken after a deadly rampage by an Islamist terrorist at a Berlin Christmas market. (BARBARA GINDL/AFP/Getty Images)

Austrian police arrested 14 people on Thursday (January 26) on suspicion of belonging to the militant group Islamic State following raids in Vienna and the southern city of Graz, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka told a news conference.

Sobotka said around 800 police officers took part in the raids and the co-ordinated action had been planned for some time. Sixteen houses and two religious venues were among the localities targeted.

“Radical Islam, Salafism, it must have no place in Austria. We will do everything with the power available to us and oppose it with all instruments,” Sobotka said.

The suspects held for questioning include three women, three Austrians with foreign roots, two Bosnians, two Macedonians and a Syrian, an earlier statement by the Graz police said, without revealing much more detail, other than that there was no immediate danger of a terrorist attack.

“There was no acute danger” and no indications of a concrete attack, a spokesman said earlier, adding that the detentions were not connected to the arrest of an Austrian teenager last week on suspicion of planning an Islamist attack in Vienna.

That suspect, a 17-year-old with Albanian roots, was arrested on Friday (January 20) after tip-offs from unspecified foreign countries. Austria alerted Germany to a related suspect, a 21-year-old who was arrested in the western German city of Neuss on Saturday. A boy thought to be 12 has also been held in Austria.

Police in Vienna have been on heightened alert since Friday’s arrest and have increased patrols at transport hubs and other busy public places.


ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.