Shooter posted selfie holding AK-47

 

Austrian police have arrested 14 people in raids linked to the deadly attack in Vienna and have found no evidence that a second shooter was involved, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said Tuesday.

"There have been 18 raids in Vienna and Lower Austria and 14 people have been detained," Nehammer told a televised press conference.

The minister added that police believe that Monday's shooting in central Vienna was carried out by a lone gunman, Kujtim Fejzulai, a 20-year-old Islamic State sympathiser who was killed by police on Monday night.

The would-be ISIS terrorist who gunned down four people and wounded 17 others in Vienna posted a chilling photo of himself shortly before the rampage - clutching an AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun and a machete.

Fejzulai, an Austrian-North Macedonian dual citizen with a previous terror conviction, shared the image on Instagram as he pledged his allegiance to the jihadists and their leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, the New York Post reported.

The radicalised gunman was jailed for trying to join the terror group in Syria and was released in December 2019, according to the news outlet.

The homegrown terrorist was banned from leaving Austria to travel to fight with Islamic extremists in Syria was behind the attack.

Identified by some media outlets as as Kujtim Fejzulai, the attacker posed on social media with an arsenal of weapons before the attack.

Schools closed across Vienna and people have been ordered to stay at home, amid fears one of the attackers may still be on the run.

Austria is in shock following its worst terror incident since 1985.

The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz vowed his people would "never be cowed by terrorism."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke with Mr Kurz on Tuesday and offered his condolences and pledged to stand with Austria against these "cowardly acts."

 

 

Police were investigating shootings at six locations across Vienna, mainly centred around the Danube canal, involving at least four attackers.

They have received 20,000 videos of the attack, with some shocking images showing a man dressed in white, shooting an innocent pedestrian with a long-barrelled rifle, and then returning to shoot him again with a handgun.

Austrian police have arrested several people and have raided the home of one of the suspects.

Two Swiss men were arrested near Zurich on Tuesday in connection with the deadly shooting, Swiss police said.

"Police investigations led to the identification of an 18-year-old and a 24-year-old Swiss citizen. The two men were arrested on Tuesday (local time) afternoon in Winterthur in coordination with the Austrian authorities," Zurich police said in a statement.

A key attacker was shot dead at 8.09pm local time on Tuesday by police.

 

 

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer confirmed the attacker shot dead was of Macedonian heritage and had an Austrian and Macedonian passport.

He had a criminal record for terror related activity, Mr Nehammer said, following reports that he had been banned from leaving Austria in July to travel to Syria to fight for Islamic state.

Florian Kenk, editor-in-chief of the Viennese weekly newspaper Falter, said, "He was on the radar" of authorities after he was stopped from travelling to Syria with 90 other Austrian Islamists in July.

Police did not believe Kurtin, who was born in Vienna to parents with Albanian and Macedonian descent, was planning an attack in Vienna.

The victims included an older man, a young male pedestrian, a woman in her mid 40s, and a waitress.

 

The streets of Vienna had been teeming with people on Tuesday night, with the attack happening just hours before Austria went into a new coronavirus lockdown.

The attack in multiple locations sparked mass panic across the city, with false reports of hostages being taken and fears of bombs.

"A huge number of people were running away in all directions and screaming," a witness who was on a tram told Der Standard, a leading Austrian newspaper.

"Then there was another bang. The children in the tram started to scream and we lay down on the floor."

Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said that from his apartment window he could see shots fired in streets which were lined with diners at outdoor tables.

"They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building," he said.

"All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown.

"As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month and a lot of people probably wanted to use that evening to be able to go out."

Austria has announced three days of mourning, but the threat level remained high on Tuesday night Australian time.

Mr Morrison warned that any Australians in Vienna should be careful and follow the instructions of local authorities.

"We send our best and our support and our sympathies to all of them," he said.

"I've been in contact with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and provided Australia's condolences, but also our assurance that we stand with them against these acts of terror and we'll do all we can to support them and all nations and all peoples who are affected by these cowardly acts."

One of the gunmen captured on video in Vienna, Austria. Picture: Twitter
One of the gunmen captured on video in Vienna, Austria. Picture: Twitter

Mr Kurz, 34, offered sympathy to the victims of the attack in what he described as "difficult hours" for his country.

"Our police will pursue those responsible for this appalling terrorist attack with determination. We will never be cowed by terrorism and we will resolutely fight back against these attacks with every means at our disposal," he said.

Austria has been free of terrorism for decades, while most European countries, including France and the UK have had multiple attacks.

The last major attack in Austria was in 1985 when Palestinian terrorists killed 19 people in coordinated attacks at Vienna and Rome airports.

France was already coming to terms with the death of three people in the Notre Dame church in Nice last week, following on from the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on October 16.

 

 

Mr Paty had used cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, first published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, during a classroom lesson about freedom of speech.

Turkey led calls for a boycott of France following president Emmanuel Macron's defence of Mr Paty and the country's principle of freedom of expression.

French president Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "After France, this is a friendly country that has been attacked. This is our Europe.

"Our enemies need to know who they are dealing with. We won't give in to anything."

German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said: "We Germans stand by our Austrian friends in sympathy and solidarity. The fight against Islamist terror is our common fight."

 

 

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I am deeply shocked by the terrible attacks in Vienna tonight.

"The UK's thoughts are with the people of Austria - we stand united with you against terror."

Britain on Tuesday upgraded the country's terrorism threat level from "substantial" to "severe", after the deadly shooting rampage in Vienna and several attacks across France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Shooter posted selfie holding AK-47


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