Vienna gunman, Kujtim Fejzulai, 20, arrested in 2019 duped authorities into believing he was no danger, that ‘attending the wrong mosque’ led him astray and he’d renounced ISIS ideals
At his trial in 2019, Kujtim Fejzulai told the court he was ‘no danger‘
The Jihadist claimed that ‘attending the wrong mosque’ led him astray and insisted he renounced ISIS ideals
Monday’s Vienna gunman Kujtim Fejzulai, 20, was arrested in 2019 for joining ISIS, sentenced to 22 months in prison and granted early release in December
The terrorist said he joined the terror group because he wanted his ‘own apartment’ and income
Five people were killed including the terrorist, another 22 on Monday night as the gunman rampaged through streets near synagogue in the city center
‘It was an attack out of hatred – hatred for our fundamental values, hatred for our way of life, hatred for our democracy in which all people have equal rights and dignity,’ Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday
Austria police are reportedly investigating whether the man seen in a photograph with a disturbing caption on Instagram is the Vienna killer, Kujtim Fejzulai according to Austrian media.
The caption pledges allegiance to the leader of ISIS Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.
Nehammer told APA that Fejzulai had posted a photo on his Instagram account before the attack that showed him with two of the weapons he apparently used.
Local media reports say the Vienna gunman duped officials in a 2019 trial by saying he had been led astray by the ‘wrong mosque’ and had renounced his ISIS ideals.
Fejzulai, 20, was jailed in April 2019 because he wanted to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
However, he was granted early release in December under juvenile law.
He was not deemed capable of carrying out an attack, according to a report.
The teen made it all the way to an ISIS safe house on the Turkish border with Syria last year before he was stopped by local police.
The tale of his journey into the ISIS lair emerged at his trial in April, 2019, during which acknowledged that he became radicalized because he had ‘got into the wrong mosque’ in 2016.
Five people, Fejzulai were killed and another 22 wounded as firing broke out opposite a synagogue in the Austrian capital, Vienna On Monday night.
Austrian authorities said the incident began near the Seitenstettengasse synagogue, which is the main temple in Vienna though it is not yet clear if that was the target.
The group of men suspected to be Jihadist terrorists in multiple gun attacks unleashed mayhem in a suicide attacks near a synagogue in Vienna’s city center.
Shocking footage released by Israeli TV shows one gunman carrying an AK-47 and handgun and shooting a someone in the street about the time the terror wave began around 8pm in Vienna
Armed with an automatic rifle, pistol and machete, Fejzulai was ‘neutralized’ at 8.09pm after marauding through the streets wearing a fake explosives belt.
One of the women killed in yesterday’s attack was a waitress who died of gunshot wounds in hospital overnight and another, who was aged in her 40s, later at a local Clinic.
One of the victims was discovered in the meat market, while another was found gravely wounded close to the Wien river.
Seven of the 17 victims being treated in hospital are in a critical, life-threatening condition, according to Austrian news agency APA
Police immediately mounted a huge manhunt is for several attackers armed with rifles with police confirming shootings at six different locations, starting near the synagogue at 8pm local time.
The terror group at a point exchanged fire with police. One of the attacker police said, ‘blew themselves up’ during the rampage, another one was shot dead by police while a third terrorist was taken into custody by police.
One police officer was shot and seriously injured in the rampage. seven with serious injuries.
It is still not clear how many attackers took part in the shooting, but one man accused of carrying out the attack is the 20-year-old Fejzulai who was only released early from jail in December.
The Austrian born “Islamist terrorist” was shot dead by police during the incident.
Footage showing a man carrying an assault rifle and sprinting through the streets of Vienna and firing off shots was shared on social media.
More distressing footage appears to show the moment a man is shot by the same attacker, believed to be Fejzulai.
Fejzulai had testified that he did not feel disadvantaged growing up and began studying Islam in the middle of puberty. Asked why he had tried to join IS, the Austrian-born terrorist told the judge: ‘I wanted to get away from home. I expected a better life.
‘My own apartment, my own income.’
The summer of 2018 he earned enough to buy plane tickets to Kabul where he had arranged to meet ISIS contacts. It was only after buying the ticket that Fejzulai realized he needed a visa to travel to Afghanistan.
On September 1, 2019, Fejzulai arrived in Syria alone. He spent two days in a ‘rat hole,’ his lawyer told the court, with ‘no shower, no toilet, [and] no running water’.
He was captured by police after two days and detained in Turkey for four months before being extradited back to Austria where he went under trial.
His defence lawyer Rudolf Mayer told the court Fejzulai had denounced his IS ideals after his arrest.
He said: ‘How can I change the ideology of a suicide bomber? Not with high fines. You have to change your mind.
‘If [Fejzulai] had not attended a mosque but a Kung Fu school, [he] would have gone to Tibet and become Shaolin monks.’
Despite facing between one and ten years imprisonment for membership in a criminal organization and a terrorist organization, he was given a reduced sentence of 22 months was granted early release from prison in December.
Fejzulai who was born and raised in Vienna had Albanian roots and his parents were originally from North Macedonia, according to Austrian media
He was one of 90 Austrian Islamic radicals known to intelligence because they wanted to travel to Syria, but Police thought he was not capable of planning an attack in Vienna.
It emerged that Fejzulai had posted a photo on his Instagram account before the attack that showed him with two of the weapons he apparently used.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer, said police are searching for more possible assailants who may still be at large, and several neighboring countries have stepped up border checks.
‘It’s difficult for us at the moment to define whether the attack was carried out by one perpetrator or more than one,’ said Vienna police.
The shooting erupted just hours before Austria was to re-impose a coronavirus lockdown, with people out in bars and restaurants enjoying a final night out.
The shocked nation began three days of mourning after what Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described as a ‘repulsive terror attack’.
Across the country, flags have been lowered to half mast on public buildings and people observed a minute of silence at noon as church bells rang out.
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