Austria to Launch Terrorism Offenders Register to Minimize Risk of Attacks

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 03: Austrian Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer speaks during a press conference presenting the Wiener Stadthalle indoor arena as a venue for mass Covid-19 testing during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on December 03, 2020 in Vienna, Austria. Austria, which has seen coronavirus …
Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

The Austrian government will create a terrorist offenders register that will see those convicted of terror offences placed on the registry for life.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer and Justice Minister Alma Zadic announced the terrorism registry on Wednesday, which is part of a major overhaul of the country’s anti-terrorism measures.

The registry is designed much like a sex offender registry and will see those convicted of terrorist offences placed on the registry for life. The records could help to better identify terrorists in order to mitigate the risk of potential terror attacks in the future, Kronen Zeitung reports.

Minister Nehammer said the terror registry is also an important tool for law enforcement as many authorities have information about terrorist suspects but are not always sharing the information with each other effectively.

According to a report from the newspaper, Wiener Zeitung, police and companies working in vital infrastructure sectors will be able to access and make queries of the register.

The Austrian government hopes to prevent convicted terrorists from gaining employment in critical infrastructure, private security companies, and other sensitive sectors.

Those on the register will also be banned from buying weapons or explosives and cannot hold a driving licence. The register will not be limited to radical Islamic terrorists, as far-right extremists can also be placed on it.

Many countries across Europe already use terrorism watchlists for those deemed to be radicalised, such as France, which uses several registries.

France’s Terrorist Radicalisation Prevention Report Index (FSRPT) has thousands of radicals on it, including at least 1,083 illegal migrants, according to French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who revealed the latest numbers earlier this month.

The overhaul to Austria’s anti-terror policy comes after a terrorist attack in November in Vienna, which saw 20-year-old terrorist Kujtim Fejzulai go on a shooting spree in the city centre, killing four and injuring 22 others.

The ethnic Albanian had attempted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State but had failed and was arrested in Turkey in 2018. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison in Austria after his deportation from Turkey but only served 14 months.

Fejzulai was also placed in a deradicalisation programme, but Austrian officials later claimed that he had deceived them into thinking he was not a terrorist threat.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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