Austria will institute preventive detention or electronic surveillance for jihadists present in its territory, in response to the deadly attack last week, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Wednesday.
As long as they are not de-radicalized and even if they have served their sentence, we will create the possibility of locking these people up to protect the population., declared the conservative chancellor in front of the press at the exit of the council of ministers.
For those who have just been released, there will be electronic surveillance. It is a strong interference, but it is in my opinion a necessary step to minimize the threat to our population., added the Chancellor.
He did not specify under what circumstances it would be decided to apply preventive detention rather than electronic surveillance.
Measures to prevent radicalization
The Austrian government has also announced a reinforcement of the tools allowing to deprive of their Austrian nationality the individuals convicted of terrorism holding the passport of a third country.
It is also planned to withdraw any social aid from them, as well as the driving license and to create a file to control the holders of weapons.
Sebastian Kurz got the Greens, who govern in coalition with him and occupy the Ministry of Justice, to simplify the dissolutions of associations and the closings of mosques in the event of demonstrated radicalization.
A register of imams will be created, as will a compensation fund for victims of terrorism, in this country of 8.9 million inhabitants long spared from the jihadist threat.
A platform for reporting jihadist activities on the Internet must finally see the light of day.
All of these reforms will be discussed in early December by the Austrian Parliament, with the government promising to legislate while respecting the Constitution and fundamental rights.
According to Sebastian Kurz, who went to Paris on Tuesday to discuss with French President Emmanuel Macron the European response to the terrorist threat, around 150 individuals having joined Syria or Iraq to fight alongside the Islamic State group or tried to to do so are currently present on the national territory.
The perpetrator of the attack that claimed the lives of four people in Vienna last week had been imprisoned in the past after an arrest, while he was planning to join Syria. He was released after serving a prison sentence.
This jihadist, shot dead by the police, was receiving social assistance and had tried to travel to Slovakia by car to get a war arsenal.
An association and a mosque which, according to the authorities, participated in its radicalization have since been dissolved and closed by order of the government.
Searches and seizures
Meanwhile, Austria seized 25 million euros in cash (around C $ 38 million) on Monday, according to Austrian public radio. Ö1, in the context of searches targeting unofficial representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and relatives of the Palestinian movement Hamas.
The radio reports that several former officials of the Austrian Council of Muslim Worship (IGGÖ) were targeted by this police raid, as well as an official of the institute responsible for the training of religion teachers in public schools (IRPA) .
This operation, the result of more than a year of investigation, had no connection with the attack in Vienna, the prosecution said earlier this week.
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