After the fatal attack in Vienna, more and more details about the attacker became public. The young man’s former lawyer, Nikolaus Rast, said on Tuesday that the young man came from a very normal family. “For me it was a young person who was unlucky enough to meet the wrong friends,” the defense lawyer told the Austrian news agency APA. The 20-year-old had been sympathetic to ISIS terrorist militia for years and was ready to fight for them.
The man had both Austrian and North Macedonian citizenships. According to Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer, the Vienna authorities had a procedure to take his Austrian passport. But there was “too little evidence of the killer’s active activities” to successfully complete the proceedings.
Last year, the Viennese had to answer in court because of his IS membership. According to media reports, his own mother had turned to the authorities. He was subsequently sentenced to 22 months in prison, participated in a deradicalisation program and was released early due to a favorable prognosis. Rast said he cheated on everyone.
In April 2019, the alleged terrorist stated in the Vienna Regional Court that he had never felt harmed in his life. During puberty, he began to engage in Islam, reports the daily “Der Standard”, which followed the process at the time. At the end of 2016 he said he had ended up in the “wrong mosque”. His performance at school deteriorated and there were more and more arguments with his mother. “I wanted to get out of the house,” the man told the court. He expected a better life from IS. “Your own apartment, your own income.”
A trip to Kabul to visit ISIS with a friend failed because the young men realized too late that they needed a visa for Afghanistan. He earned the money for the plane ticket at a holiday job. In September 2018, the alleged terrorist left alone for Turkey. From there he wanted to go to Syria to fight for IS. He spread propaganda from terrorist militias via the Telegram courier service, the newspaper “Heute” reports.
Two days after his arrival in Turkey, Turkish police arrested him in a so-called safe house, which his lawyer described as a “rat hole” with no shower, toilet or running water. He was detained there for four months before being transferred to Austria. At the end of last year, authorities apparently classified him as no longer dangerous and so he was released early. (dpa)