Israel condemns Islamist terror attack in Vienna

Netanyahu and Israeli leaders condemn “brutal attack” by Islamist terrorist that killed 3, wounded 15.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday condemned the deadly terrorist attack in central Vienna, calling for unity in the fight against “the savagery of resurgent Islamist terrorism.”

Vienna’s police department said the attack Monday evening by at least one gunman armed with an automatic weapon and wearing a fake suicide bomb vest “is considered to have an Islamist motive.” Police shot and killed the man, but only after he had gunned down 18 people, killing three and wounding 15, many of them seriously, including a police officer.

“Israel condemns the brutal attack in Vienna and stands in total solidarity with Austria. Civilized peoples everywhere must unite to defeat the savagery of resurgent Islamist terrorism,” Netanyahu tweeted.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi tweeted his support for Austria as police searched the perpetrator’s home and continued the hunt for possible accomplices.

“Israel utterly condemns last night’s murderous terror attack in Vienna. I send my deepest condolences to the families of those who were murdered and wish a full recovery to all those wounded,” Ashkenazi tweeted. “In these difficult times, Israel stands alongside the government and people of Austria in the struggle against terror. Our friendship is as strong as ever.”

President Reuven Rivlin tweeted that Israel’s “thoughts and prayers are with the people of Austria as we follow last night’s despicable terrorist attack in Vienna with concern.”

The attack began around 8 p.m. local time when the gunman opened fire near Vienna’s main synagogue and a kosher restaurant, both of which were closed at the time. The assailant then walked around the area shooting people randomly in the streets.

Security camera footage and videos taken by people from phones showed the terrorist calmly shooting an automatic rifle. In one video clip, he walked up to a young man on a side street and shot him at point blank range. The helpless victim crumpled to the street and was later seen to be attended by police officers, but his fate is not known.

The suspected terrorist was identified as a 20-year-old dual citizen of Austria and North Macedonia who was sentenced to 22 months in prison in 2019 after attempting to travel to Syria in order to join the Islamic State. He was released seven months later due to local law limitations, NPR reported.