Terror Alert for Churches in Vienna

Yesterday police and the military were put on heightened alert in Vienna due to a threat of possible Islamic terrorist attacks directed at churches. Coptic and Syrian Orthodox churches in the city were thought to be particular targets.

I haven’t heard anything further today, so I assume that no actual attacks have thus far been carried out.

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for translating this video report, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Below is an article about the alert from the Austrian daily Kronen Zeitung, also translated by Gary Fouse:

Heightened presence

Terror alarm: attack danger for churches in Vienna

March 15, 2023

Increased police presence in the national capital. On Wednesday morning, via Twitter, the State Police command reported a strengthened presence, some also with special equipment. The reason: A threatened danger of attack against Vienna churches.

What is concrete is that there is a security alarm from the Command of the State Security and Intelligence Service (DSN). According to Krone’s information, the police intelligence service received a tip about a planned attack by a Syrian-Islamist terror cell.

Apparently, the threat is directed against those Syrians who fled the war and dictator Bashar al-Assad. According to the information, these people were to be murdered while attending Mass because they did not participate as God’s fighters in the jihad.

To provide this security, more police — local forces, WEGA and Cobra — are being deployed, the police say. “With this surveillance, it is a precautionary measure, “ it was stressed — a normal process in such scenarios.

Church in close coordination with police

However, for now the danger is not so high that there is a need for temporary closures or cancellation of services, the Archdiocese of Vienna reports. The Catholic Church is in close contact with the police. “We know that it will be more closely controlled, “ said Michael Prueller, spokesman for the Vienna Archdiocese. Vienna’s Cathedral priest, Toni Faber, expressed gratitude to the security authorities through Kathpress [Catholic Press, Austria], “that the situation is under control and appropriate security measures have been taken.”

[Police tweet]

You will notice increased police forces in the city area with special equipment. The reason is there is an unspecified danger of attack against churches. We will keep you updated.

The founder of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Austria, Emanuel Aydin, says he has had no direct contact with the police. Officers have been in the area around his church in Favoriten and have spoken with members of the community. The church is still open.

Bishop Gabriel of the Coptic-Orthodox Church told Ö1-Mittagsjournal [Austria One Midday Journal] that they have been informed of the threat situation.

National army, “Forces sensitized”

The National Army was not immediately brought in for assistance, said the spokesman for the Defense Ministry, Colonel Michael Bauer. “Our forces, which routinely guard the embassies, are sensitized.” In a local inspection in the inner city, only a slightly increased police presence was noted.

How long the guarding of the churches due to a “heightened Islamist-motivated attack danger” will be kept is unclear.

“There are high risk individuals in Austria, too”

Even after the far-reaching defeat of the Islamic State terror militia (IS), there is a threat from radical Islamist forces, stressed the leader of the State Security and Intelligence Service Command, Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, Tuesday in a press conference in the Interior Ministry. From observation of the relevant networks, they see “Islamists who are able to carry attacks in Europe,” says Haijawi-Pirchner. “Also in Austria, there are high-risk individuals.”.

As far as persons in Austria are concerned, from whom there is a danger, Haijawi-Pirchner distinguishes three groups: Individuals often radicalized over the Internet, who were born between 1995 and 2010, and who are active on social media channels such as Tik-Tok and Instagram. Next, there is a second group, also on social media, but who additionally visit relevant mosques and bars. The last group is adults, often men born in Austria strongly interconnected with each other and acting in a conspiratorial manner.

Again and again police protection for Muslim personalities

Tarafa Baghajati, Chairman of the Austrian Muslim Initiative (IMÖ), said he was concerned and shocked over the possible attack plans. He stressed that moderate imams and/or Muslim personalities might be concerned with such tendencies. In the past few years, more and more Muslim personalities have had to seek police protection because they were threatened by ISIS or put on a “death list”.

Video transcript:

00:00   Intelligence police received a tip, intelligence
00:05   that an Islamist-motivated attack might be planned.
00:09   And then a threat estimation was issued,
00:12   and in the course of which meanwhile, safety precautions
00:16   have been put into effect, police presence has been strengthened
00:20   and deployed with special equipment and protective clothing
00:23   and assault weapons to guard sensitive locations, especially churches.
00:30   There was a tip, and the intelligence services did their job in passing it on,
00:37   and for the threat assessment, issued the protection order.
00:43   And there is no concrete danger. Should this exist,
00:47   the Vienna police will, announce it with all available channels
00:52   with a warning released, especially with our fastest possible means (of communication)
00:57   on social media, on Twitter, police media, that is, it would be advisable
01:03   to keep your eyes open then we can communicate rapidly here.
01:06   Do you have more regarding the churches? what is behind it?
01:12   According to this tip, an attack is reportedly planned
01:16   against sensitive locations, especially churches,
01:19   and accordingly we’re here in Vienna, we’re responding with increased forces with special equipment.

One thought on “Terror Alert for Churches in Vienna

  1. Why they have alert !!, about clean up this country and this continent from this jihadis , criminals!!, ..

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