Austria: Iraqi stabs Christian Iraqi over possible political and religious motive

Iraqi man stabs compatriot in Klagenfurt. (
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

A 19-year-old man from Iraq has been charged with attempted murder in Vienna, Austria, after stabbing a fellow 53-year-old Iraqi in June in Klagenfurt, police said Wednesday. Video footage of the crime is only now being released months later, and the police are investigating the suspicion that the perpetrator may have been hired for the attack.

The suspect says he was angry because of social media statements by the victim, but denied he intended to kill the man. Instead, according to prosecutors, he claims, “I just wanted to scare him.”

The Christian victim has been making critical comments on YouTube for years about politics in Iraq, as well as about other religious groups. He says that he has been targeted in the past by Muslims since he is Roman Catholic. As a result, the Iraqi increasingly faced serious threats in his home country and subsequently fled to Klagenfurt in 2015. There, he continued to publish his videos.

The victim was attacked with a knife in front of his home in Klagenfurt on June 7, when he was about to unlock his front door. On the surveillance video, the perpetrator is seen running up, stabbing the victim several times in the shoulder and neck area and then running away again. Although the victim was wounded, he did not receive life-threatening injuries.

The victim briefly chased the offender, and police have determined that a second man fled together with the suspect, according to video footage secured by the police. To protect the victim, police have so far kept the investigation under wraps, but details are now coming out, including still images from the video footage.

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