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Austrian terror attack reminds us national security still matters

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

International security conspicuously was absent from much of the 2020 presidential campaign, but on the eve of the U.S. election, we are reminded Islamist terrorism still exists.

At least two people are presumed dead and several wounded in a shooting attack at multiple locations across Vienna, Austria, Monday evening. Reports say the killers shouted ‘Allahu akbar’. A suspect was shot and killed by police during a large-scale security incident. Police say the attacks were carried out by several suspects armed with rifles. The radical Muslim terrorist behind the rampage is Kujtim Fejzulai, 20. He was on early prison release for trying to join ISIS. One specific location is near the city’s main synagogue. The Jewish community in Vienna has reportedly been instructed by police to stay indoors and remove kippot (skullcaps) and other Jewish items. "At the moment I can confirm we believe this is an apparent terror attack," Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. Authorities earlier asked locals to avoid nearby public places and public transportation due to "several suspects armed with rifles" at "six different shooting locations." Roadblocks have been set up around the city centre. Footage posted on social media showed people running as gunshots are heard. The killings come just days after Islamist terror again hit southern France, killing three churchgoers. This is an fluid story. You can follow the latest here.

UPDATE: Attacker Kujtim Fejzulai, a 20-year old dual citizen of Austria and North Macedonia, was on early prison release for trying to join ISIS. The gunman wielded an automatic rifle and wore a fake explosive vest. He killed four before killed himself by police. He previously detailed his attack plan on Instagram.

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