Islamist terror attack in Austria thwarted as minor is arrested for concrete plans to target Vienna synagogue

By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

A minor has been arrested in Austria on suspicion of planning a terror attack on a synagogue in Vienna.

The 16-year-old suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is understood to be an Austrian national with a Turkish migrant background living near Steyr, Upper Austria.

He was placed into custody last Thursday after authorities received information linking him to the potential planning of an Islamist terror attack.

In a joint press conference on Monday, Austrian security agency chiefs and Interior Minister Gerhard Karner revealed that police had seized several devices belonging to the suspect including the teenager’s cell phone which contained multiple Islamic State propaganda videos including footage of executions.

Directorate of State Security and Intelligence (DSN), Omar Haijawi-Pirchner told reporters that the suspect had expressed his intention to purchase unspecified weapons on end-to-end encryption messaging apps in order to attack an unspecified synagogue in Vienna.

The intelligence chief further revealed that other attacks within Austria and abroad had been discussed in his chat history, and said the financial means to carry out such attacks had already been obtained by the teen, though it was not made clear who these funds had been received from.

As reported by Der Standard, other evidence gathered against the suspect included bomb-making manuals, weapons and ammunition, and guidance on how to carry out terror attacks with video material in his possession.

According to Haijawi-Pirchner, “concrete preparations” for attacks had been underway since October.

The teenager remains in pre-trial detention at Linz prison.

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner reiterated to reporters that the terror threat within Austria remains high and has increased “significantly” following the Oct. 7 terror attack by the Hamas terror group in Israel.

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