Islamic terror remains the biggest threat in Austria, according to a report released by the Constitutional Protection Agency on Wednesday assessing 2018.
Islamic extremism and terrorism remain the greatest threats to Austrian security; despite the fact that a terrorist attack has not yet taken place in Austria, the head of the Federal Criminal Police told the Austrian news agency. Franz Lang also pointed out that the situation in Austria is less tense than in other countries in the world.
At the same time, so-called returnees, according to Peter Gridling, head of the Constitutional Office, are a “serious and unpredictable source of danger”.
By the end of 2018, more than forty women had left Austria and traveled to the war zones in Syria; more than 20 of them are currently in Syria or Iraq. According to Gridling, the question is how dangerous their return might be to society; for there is no experience in this regard.
Last year, the names of 320 people who traveled to Syria or Iraq war zones or wanted to go out to take part in the fighting became known. Of these, 62 were prevented from leaving. 93 people have returned to Austria and 58 are believed to have lost their lives.
A so-called “foreign terrorist fighter” from Austria was still in war zones at the end of last year. Experience shows that the number of people wishing to travel stagnates; only a few suspicious cases have been noted this year.
The number of crimes perpetrated by extremists, according to the report, dropped significantly; last year, a total of 137 cases were registered, 35 percent less than in 2017. The number of complaints dropped by almost 23 percent; while last year there were 237 complaints, while last year 307 complaints were received.
Extreme right-wing crime has increased slightly; while last year there were 1,075 cases registered, down from 12 last year.