A major scandal has erupted in Austria after information came to light that the 20-year-old terrorist Kujtim Fejzulai, who shot dead four people and wounded 22 others in Vienna on Monday night, was released from prison in early December because he joined a deradicalization program and fooled officials. Fejzulai convinced them that he had given up his radical views after he was convicted of wanting to travel to Syria with other radicals to fight for the Islamic State.
So far, it had been reported that the radical, sentenced to 22 months in April, was released due to his young age. He was already detained in April 2019, according to Novinky.cz.
However, the Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer clarified this information.
“He was released prematurely because he joined a deradicalization program. He should have been prepared to integrate better into society. But he managed to fool the judicial panel of his deradicalization and thus achieved early release.”
The program did not change the views of the attacker, who was born near Vienna in Mödling and had, in addition to Austria, also North Macedonian citizenship. Hours before the attack, he sent two of his accomplices videos from the attack on the editorial board of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where two terrorists killed 12 people in 2015, mostly journalists and cartoonists.
Due to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, the French history teacher Samuel Paty was murdered recently, after showing the pictures to the students while teaching about freedom of speech. Another Islamic terrorist attack was committed in Nice.
The Islamic State has called on jihadists to “shed the blood of the Crusaders” in retaliation for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad. The weekly Charlie Hebdo decided to imprint the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad again on the occasion of the start of the trial with people who took part in the attack on its editorial office in 2015.
Police, who managed to kill the attacker nine minutes after receiving information about the shooting in the center of Vienna, searched his apartment. They also secured the computer, and according to the Bild, they are examining his now-closed Instagram account, which belonged to him. There were supposed to be about 20 photos of him showing his weapons. He allegedly took an oath of allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Ibrahim Quraysh. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
Fourteen people were detained in Austria in connection with the attack. Two other people were detained by special Swiss forces in Winterthur in cooperation with the Austrian authorities. According to the Swiss Minister of Justice, they both met with the attacker. However, she did not say more due to the ongoing investigation.
Title image: Bullet holes are marked on a door at the crime scene 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)