Religious extremism 'greatest threat' to safety in Austria

GMT 09:40 2015 Saturday ,04 July

Arab Today, arab today Religious extremism 'greatest threat' to safety in Austria

Religious extremism
Vienna - XINHUA

Religiously motivated extremism and terrorism provide the greatest threats to safety in Austria, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (BVT) said here on Friday.

At the presentation of its 2014 report at the Ministry of the Interior, the BVT said 233 people have now been identified as having left Austria to take part in jihadist activities.

BVT Director Peter Gridling said there were 60 such people in the first half of 2015 alone. Over 70 persons of the total have returned to Austria in the meantime, and another 39 are believed to have died in fighting in crisis regions.

Konrad Kogler, director general for Public Security at the Interior Ministry, said this continued upward trend in the religiously-motivated field is a "cause for concern."

Young muslims particularly from the second and third generations living in Austria seem attracted to these causes and have developed a "home-grown" extremist scene.

Gridling said though there are 174 court processes related to the terrorism sections of criminal law, along with 14 such convictions in Austria, there is no evidence of an imminent terrorist attack.

The report also noted a 2014 increase in the amount of extremism coming from both left and right wing groups and individuals.

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