Vienna’s pride march on Saturday was the target of a planned attack, according to Austrian security agencies on Sunday.
Three individuals, aged 14 to 20, were detained for allegedly plotting an attack on the Vienna march, which was meant to honour LGBTQ+ rights and drew some 300,000 spectators, officials reported.
The operation included participation from the Vienna Police and the Austrian State Protection Service. According to Haijawi-Pirchner, the three suspects, who are nationals of Austria and have Bosnian and Chechen ancestry, support the Islamic State extremist organisation. Young men between the ages of 14 and 20 were among those detained on Saturday in their homes, according to Austrian security authorities.
Although they provided no further information, they did mention that air rifles, knives, and an axe had been seized. At a press conference on Sunday, Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, the head of Austria's internal intelligence, announced the arrests.
"Through the successful and also timely intervention, we managed to defuse the moment of danger for Vienna Pride and to ensure the safety of all participants," said Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, Austria's head of internal intelligence.
He said that in order to prevent attendees from feeling concerned, authorities had withheld information about the intended assault until after the procession. The ultimate aim of terrorism is to instil dread and apprehension among the populace. It's also our responsibility to prevent that.
The accused, according to Mr Haijawi-Pirchner, were Austrian citizens with ties to Bosnia and Chechnya. One of the men was previously known to the police owing to prior allegations of terrorism. He continued that the Islamic State (IS) has been inciting additional assaults, and Austrian officials were aware of this.
He stated that there have been appeals to carry out attacks in Europe once more, and Europol, the European police group, has recently produced a report to that effect. In November 2020, a shooter opened fire in a well-known nightlife district of Vienna, killing four people and injuring 23 others in the country's latest IS incident.
According to Haijawi-Pirchner, they had supposedly been radicalised online and adopted pro-ISIS viewpoints. "Hatred and terrorism have no place in our democratic society," he added.
According to Gerhard Pürstl, the head of the state police, "For the LGBTQ community, many Islamic as well as right-wing extremists represent an intense enemy, which is clear from the violent crimes that have been committed during events in the past across the world, as well as in Europe."
The plans of the suspects were known to the DSN in advance, and they kept them "under constant control." The three were detained by Austria's Cobra special forces in advance of Saturday's march.
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