Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tells CNN that Vienna gunman “probably was alone”

Austrian investigators will wish to set up what motivated Fejzulai Kujtim to launch his assault.

Monday’s assault got here amid renewed controversy in Europe over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. In 2015, terrorists attacked the places of work of the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo (which had revealed the cartoons), killing 12 folks. 

A French historical past instructor was murdered last month by a younger Chechen in Paris after exhibiting pictures of the cartoons to a category. France’s President Emmanuel Macron launched an unsparing protection of French secularism and mentioned “the problem is Islamist separatism.”

Whether Kujtim was angered by the cartoons is at this stage unclear. He had clearly been radicalized a number of years in the past, in response to authorities. And the historical past of that radicalization will now be a spotlight of investigation.

Like many European international locations, Austria skilled a surge in younger radicalized Muslims attempting to hitch ISIS in Syria between 2014 and 2017, earlier than the terrorists’ self-declared Caliphate collapsed. Kujtim is reported to have reached so far as Turkey in his effort to hitch ISIS. 

According to Austria’s intelligence service, the BVT, greater than 300 Austrian residents actively participated or tried to participate in combating alongside extremists in Iraq and Syria. 59 had been detained earlier than they might depart Austria. 

Perhaps extra strikingly, one-fifth of those that had been jailed for attempting to hitch ISIS had been 21 or youthful, predominantly second-generation immigrants from Chechnya, Turkey, and the Balkans. 

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