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Austria's anti-terror law targets Muslim Brotherhood

Staff Report/Vienna
Filed on July 8, 2021
A file photo of Austrian policemen standing guard at a street near a mosque in Vienna.


Under the law, released terror offenders would be monitored with electronic ankle bracelets.

Austria is targeting the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and Daesh with a new anti-terror law that was passed in the National Assembly on Wednesday. The law was formulated in the wake of a deadly terror attack last year and allows for increased surveillance of the groups' activities.

Last November, a sympathiser of Daesh killed four people in central Vienna, and the conservative party of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pushed for these anti-terror laws.

Under the law, released terror offenders would be monitored with electronic ankle bracelets.

The new legislation also regulates religious activity, in particular through a mandatory register of all imams.

The Austrian interior ministry was strongly criticised for having failed to monitor the Austrian gunman responsible for last November's killings, even though they had been alerted to the danger.

The authorities knew he had been in contact with terrorists of the Brotherhoood from neighbouring countries, and that he had tried to buy ammunition in Slovakia.

Police finally cornered the gunman and shot him dead, ending his shooting spree in the capital. The small nation of fewer than 9 million is home to one of the largest per capita rates of Daesh terrorists in Europe, with about 150 individuals having returned there after joining Daesh in either Syria or Iraq.

Following the attack, Austrian security authorities have conducted large-scale operations against more than 70 individuals and several organisations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in the country. These security operations target the bulk of the Brotherhood infrastructure in the country that includes money-laundering for terror groups and logistical support.

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