In a sit-down interview with MeSlop’s Fred Pleitgen in Vienna, Kurz mentioned there was one gunman and “in all probability he was alone.” Authorities had beforehand feared that the perpetrator did not act alone and that one other gunman is likely to be at massive.
Kurz mentioned the scenario was roughly underneath management, however Austrian authorities are looking for out if there are any others who supported the attacker. “Over the past 24 hours, we arrested 14 people,” Kurz mentioned, “now we are going to discover out in the subsequent days if he’s half of a broader community or not.”
Kurz confirmed the gunman was born in Austria and had a household background from Northern Macedonia. “What we all know is that he’s a supporter of the Islamic State.”
ISIS claimed accountability for the assault on Tuesday, calling the shooter “Abu Dujana Al-Albany” and claiming that he used two weapons, together with one machine gun, and a knife, in the assault, in response to a press release posted on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.
Authorities had earlier recognized the attacker as Fejzulai Kujtim, a 20-year-old Austrian man from the Vienna suburb of Moedling.
Kujtim was sentenced to 22 months in jail on April 25, 2019 for trying to journey to Syria to affix ISIS, Inside Minister Karl Nehammer advised state information company APA. On December 5, he was launched early on parole, it studies.
Police in Switzerland arrested two Swiss residents in reference to the assault on Tuesday night, however their hyperlinks to Kujtim weren’t confirmed.
Armed forces have been deployed in Vienna to assist safe the scenario, with authorities indicating earlier in the night that no less than one gunman stays on the unfastened.
Residents of Vienna have been requested to remain at house or in a protected place and comply with the information. Authorities have deserted obligatory faculty attendance and requested residents to keep away from the town heart for fears of one other attacker nonetheless at massive.
Earlier, Vienna police mentioned that SWAT groups entered the gunman’s condo utilizing explosives and a search of its environment was underway. Police have additionally acquired greater than 20,000 movies from members of the general public following the assault.
The preliminary assault, which started round eight p.m., was centered on the busy procuring and eating district close to Vienna’s foremost synagogue, Seitenstettengasse Temple, which was closed.
The 5 different areas have been recognized as Salzgries, Fleischmarkt, Bauernmarkt, Graben and, Morzinplatz close to the Temple, in response to an Austrian regulation enforcement supply talking to journalists on Tuesday.
Vienna mayor Michael Ludwig mentioned pictures seemed to be fired at random, as people dined and drank outdoors as a result of heat climate and virus issues.
Julia Hiermann, who lives in Vienna, was having drinks with a buddy when the capturing started.
Restaurant employees advised everybody to cover in the basement, she advised MeSlop over the cellphone. There she and others have been advised that gunmen have been capturing outdoors. Hiermann mentioned she didn’t see or hear the attackers.
The police later got here contained in the restaurant and advised diners that “we’ve to remain inside and wait right here,” she mentioned. “This appears unimaginable. After they mentioned pictures fired I did not suppose this was critical,” she mentioned.
Footage shared on social media of the capturing reveals a chaotic scenario, with people fleeing from the scene in all instructions on foot.
Contained in the Vienna Burgtheater, creative director Martin Kusej took to the stage to announce there had been an incident close by, whereas advising opera attendees to remain contained in the theater.
Following studies of gunshots, armed police rapidly swarmed the world, with helicopters and ambulances deployed. Police could possibly be seen patrolling the town heart, ordering people to remain inside bars and eating places. Different areas of the town have been additionally cordoned off whereas police performed checks on vehicles.
Like many European international locations, Austria skilled a surge in younger radicalized Muslims making an attempt to affix ISIS in Syria between 2014 and 2017, earlier than the terrorists’ self-declared caliphate collapsed.
Monitoring returned fighters or others suspected of being radicalized is a large endeavor. Intelligence professionals say that round the clock surveillance can devour the time of 20 officers.
Within the aftermath of the assault, Oskar Deutsch, the top of Vienna’s Jewish group, mentioned in a tweet that it was unclear whether or not the synagogue was a goal, however that it was closed on the time of the capturing.
All synagogues, Jewish colleges, the establishments of the IKG (Jewish Group of Vienna), and kosher eating places and supermarkets in Vienna have been closed on Tuesday as a precaution, Deutsch mentioned.
Talking to MeSlop on Tuesday, Kurz reaffirmed that Austrian society was united in its combat towards terrorism and the ideology behind it, including that “everyone knows in our nation this isn’t a combat between Christians or Muslims or Austrians and people from different international locations.”
Throughout Europe, leaders have strongly condemned the capturing, which follows two terror assaults in France in latest weeks.
“After France, it’s a pleasant nation that’s underneath assault,” French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned on Twitter.
“Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values,” the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, mentioned on Twitter.
Different leaders have shared statements expressing their shock and sorrow, together with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Correction: A earlier model of this story incorrectly said what half of Austria Fejzulai Kujtim was from. He was from Moedling, a suburb of Vienna.
MeSlop’s Frederik Pleitgen reported from Vienna, Austria whereas Luke McGee reported and wrote from London. MeSlop’s Mohammed Tawfeeq, Ivana Kottasova, Simon Cullen, Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan,Stephanie Halasz and Tim Lister contributed to this report.