An Austrian intelligence report states that radical Islamic terrorism is still the number one security issue in the country, with returning Islamic State fighters a chief concern.
The report, which comes from the Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BVT), states that returnees from the Middle East are difficult to predict in their actions and pose a danger due to possibly having combat experience acquired overseas, Kronen Zeitung reports.
By the end of last year, the BVT estimates that at least 320 individuals from Austria travelled to fight for radical Islamic terror groups in Syria or Iraq, with 107 likely to have been killed and 93 having returned.
The agency is said to be deploying new methods to tackle the threats posed by radical extremism and laid out a new plan in October of last year based on the prevention of terror attacks and deradicalisation of current extremists.
Austria: More Than Half of Suspects in Murders of Women in 2017 Were Foreigners https://t.co/r7Xk7zki34
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 1, 2019
Far-left extremist criminal cases saw a decline in 2018, down 35.1 per cent compared to 2017 despite a rise in general far-left activity in the latter part of the year.
Far-right extremist cases saw a very slight increase from 2017 but are still dramatically down compared to 2016.
The BVT complained that the anti-mass migration Identitarian youth movement in Austria was the largest organisation protesting both mass migration and Islamisation, connecting it with xenophobia.
Austria to Ban Knives for Asylum Seekers Amidst Migrant Stabbing Surge https://t.co/ESq6dxQI43
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 8, 2018
In previous years, Austria has seen several terror plots by Islamic extremists including a 25-year-old Bosnian migrant who planned to drive a vehicle through the Christmas market in the city of Graz in emulation of the Berlin terror attack which occurred the year prior.
The city of Graz itself has been labelled a “stronghold” for Islamic fundamentalism, with a 2017 report claiming that at least 11 of the mosques in the city had preached radical Islamic views.
Austrian City Labelled Radical Islamic Extremist ‘Stronghold’ https://t.co/QsZeQI58Rb
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 12, 2017