According to the Swiss media, the 20-year-old radicalized Islamist Kujtim Fejzulai, who carried out a terrorist attack last week in Vienna, held a meeting in July attended by radicals from Germany and Switzerland.
The meeting was to take place just before the terrorist went to Slovakia to search for ammunition for his Kalashnikov. However, he failed there and returned empty-handed. Based on the information from Germany, the meeting took place under the supervision of the BVT, the Austrian intelligence agency. However, the BVT did not provide any comment regarding the issue.
The meeting of Islamists took place in Vienna between July 16 and July 20. Two Swiss arrived in the Austrian capital from the canton of Zurich.
The German authorities also officially noted that Islamists from Germany went to Vienna. Criminal investigators announced on Friday that they had searched the apartments of four men from Lower Saxony, Hesse, and Schleswig-Holstein.
According to the authorities, the persons concerned are not suspected of cooperating in the Vienna terrorist attack, but they are nevertheless associated with the 20-year-old attacker. Two of these four people were to meet the killer in the summer in Vienna, the rest were reportedly in contact with him via the Internet.
The attack in the center of Vienna was perpetrated by Kujtim Fejzulai, a 20-year-old native of Austria who had roots in the Albanian minority in Northern Macedonia. He killed four people and wounded more than 20, then was shot dead by police. Fejzulai was convicted in 2019 for terrorist offenses after he tried unsuccessfully to enter Syria in 2018 and was released from prison for parole in December 2019.
During subsequent raids, police officers detained 15 people in Austria, and other police actions took place in Switzerland and Germany.
At a special meeting of the Austrian Parliament on Thursday, it was debated whether the terrorist attack could have been prevented considering the Austrian authorities had information from Slovakia since July 23 that two people in Bratislava, including a future attacker from Vienna, were trying to buy ammunition. They arrived by car with an Austrian license plate.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior admitted that by Oct. 16, two weeks before the attack, the authorities had identified one of them as probably Fejzulai.
Title image: Police officers patrol through the city in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Several shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. local time on Monday, Nov. 2, in a lively street in the city center of Vienna. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)