Vienna Terror Attacker Was Citizen Of North Macedonia


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Tuesday that one of the men who staged the attacks in Vienna was a 20-year-old Islamic State sympathiser who was born in Vienna but had dual citizenship of Austria and North Macedonia.

“The assassin is a 20-year-old Austrian citizen with dual citizenship. His name is Kujtim S.,” Nehammer said in a press statement.

“The perpetrator was armed with a dummy explosive belt and an automatic rifle, a handgun and a machete to carry out this horrific attack on innocent citizens,” he added.

The attacks in central Vienna on Monday were staged at several locations almost simultaneously by what appeared to be well-armed assailants who killed four people and injured 17 others. The police shot one of the attackers dead.

The editor of the Vienna-based Falter magazine, Florian Klek, wrote on Twitter on Monday night that according to his findings, one of the men was an Islamic State follower of ethnic Albanian decent with origins in North Macedonia.

He was “born in 2000, was 20 years old, was born and raised in Vienna and has Albanian roots. His parents come from North Macedonia were unaware when it comes to Islamism,” Klek said.

He said that the man was allegedly already known to the Austrian anti-terrorism services as someone who had tried unsuccessfully in the past to travel to Syria and fight for Islamist groups there.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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