The number of racist attacks against Muslims significantly increased in Austria, the country's largest nongovernmental organization (NGO) said Wednesday, after a man who had previously tried to join the Daesh terror group rampaged in Vienna armed with an automatic rifle and a fake explosive vest, fatally shooting four people before he was killed by police.
According to the Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Work (ZARA), which conducts anti-racist work in Austria, the racist incidents against Muslims increased during the past two weeks after the deadly attack in early November.
ZARA association official Caroline Kerschbaumer told Austrian public broadcaster ORF that after the terrorist attack in Vienna, more than 80 racist incidents against Islam were recorded in approximately 15 days.
Stating that the racist attacks against Muslims are directly related to the terrorist attack in Vienna, Kerschbaumer said that women wearing headscarves are targeted by attackers both on the street and on digital platforms.
Authorities in Austria have identified the attacker as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, a dual national of Austria and North Macedonia who had a previous conviction for trying to join the Daesh in Syria and had been given early release in December.
An investigation has been launched into why Austria didn't put Fejzulai under observation despite being tipped off by Slovakian authorities that he had tried to purchase assault rifle ammunition at a shop in Bratislava in July.