The Austrian government has agreed on a wide range of anti-terrorism measures to plug the security flaw identified after a deadly attack by an Islamic extremist in Vienna on November 2.
The proposals include keeping people convicted of terror offences in prison for life, electronic monitoring of those convicted of terror-related offences on release and criminalising religiously motivated political extremism
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the measures would be brought before Parliament in December for vote. He added the step was aimed at targeting both terror suspects and the ideology that drives them.
Al Jazeera quoted him as saying: “In the fight against political Islam – the ideological basis behind it – we are going to create a criminal offense called ‘political Islam’ in order to be able to move against those who aren’t terrorists but are preparing the ground for it.”
Kurz said the country would simplify norms for shutting down mosques or associations that played a role in “radicalisation”. Public would also be able to report potential violent activities on an online platform.
Austrian authorities identified the November 2 attacker as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, a dual national of Austria and North Macedonia. He had been previously convicted of trying to join the Islamic State group in Syria and had been given early release in December.
The government proposal also includes plan to strip dual citizens convicted of terrorism offences of their Austrian citizenship.