While Donald Trump was taking the oath of office today in Washington, police in Vienna were arresting an Albanian mujahid who was allegedly planning a bomb attack in the city. Thanks to a tip from foreign intelligence, the would-be bomber was located and apprehended by counterterrorism police.
With homemade bomb
We were targeted by terrorism: Attacker arrested in Vienna
A bloodbath in Vienna was barely prevented this Friday evening. Officers of the special force COBRA arrested an 18-year-old terror suspect, who, according to several tips from foreign secret services, had planned a bomb attack in Vienna in January. This Friday the high-threat suspect entered Austria, and from then on his every step was surveilled by the investigators. Then in the early evening, the anti-terror unit seized and arrested the suspected assassin.
There had been increasing evidence that “a group of ethnic Albanian radical Islamists” were planning an attack in Vienna between January 15 and 30. The national authorities were informed and on the alert.
Indeed, the urgently suspected IS sympathizer entered Austria on Friday. He allegedly had built an explosive device on his own in Germany, to carry out a bloody attack in Vienna.
Seizure in the Quellenstraße
The authorities subsequently monitored the suspected attacker. On late Friday afternoon, at 6:03 PM, the apprehension took place in Favoriten: the suspect was located, overpowered and arrested. Thereafter, an apartment in the nearby Rotenhofgasse was meticulously searched by the investigators — the findings of this police operation have not yet been released.
Police ask for increased vigilance
Meanwhile, the police in Vienna are asking the population for increased vigilance, especially at heavily frequented places. The executive is to be immediately informed of anything suspicious that is observed — such as abandoned luggage — says the police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger. Additionally, “Officers in uniform and in plainclothes are increasingly on the move.” Minister of Interior Wolfgang Sobotka and top Austrian politicians thanked the security forces for their excellent work.
Security measures in Vienna increased after Berlin
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in December of last year — twelve people lost their lives and dozens more were injured when Anis Amri plowed a truck through the masses — the police presence in Austria was strengthened and all units were put on heightened alert.
The security measures at the Christmas markets in Vienna were also reviewed. But the “protection” of attacks by heavy vehicles like those in Berlin and Nice caused criticism, too.