Barely 24 hours after the terror attack in the heart of Vienna, the Islamic State claimed responsibility, calling the shooter a “soldier of the caliphate”, according to a statement translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremist messaging, as quoted in the New York Times on Tuesday.
The man who opened fire in central Vienna on Monday while armed has been identified as a 20-year-old Austrian citizen who had sought to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State, Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. The shooter was known to be armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol, and a machete and was wearing a fake explosive device. Four were killed while 22 people were injured in the terrorist attack that shook the Austrian capital on Monday.
“The evidence gathered so far showed no indication that others were involved. The attacker, an Austrian who also has citizenship from North Macedonia, was identified as Kujtim Fejzulai by officials and his former lawyer, Nikolaus Rast,” Nehammer was quoted as saying by the New York Times.
“The suspect had been arrested once before after trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State. The man was sentenced to 22 months in prison for that attempt but was released early, raising questions about how someone on the radar of the authorities had managed to carry out such an attack,” Nehammer added.