Vienna/Paris/Berlin: The European leadership has said with an assurance that extremist terrorism is their common enemy and Europe will never bow down before terrorism. A severe reaction emerged after the terrorist attack in Austria’s Vienna, and Europe appears to have united against extremists and terrorism. The attack in Austria is the 4th attack in Europe in the last month. Switzerland’s security forces raised the alarm saying that the attacks in Europe demonstrated the IS is both an active and influential terrorist organisation in Europe still.
Monday night at 8, IS-affiliated terrorists launched attacks on several places in Vienna, including a Jewish place of worship. Five people were killed while 17 others were wounded in the attacks. The number of casualties is feared to rise as seven of the injured are critical. One of the assaulters has been identified as Kujtim Fejzulai. Fejzulai is of North Macedonian-origin and has dual citizenship, of Austria, as well as North Macedonia. Austrian authorities have informed that Fejzulai was armed with an assault rifle, handgun and a knife. The officials said that he was also wearing a fake explosive vest over his body.
The involvement of several other terrorists is suspected in the attack. Many locals from Vienna have uploaded videos of the incident on social media. With the help of the videos, the search for other assailants is currently underway. Several search operations have been initiated, and military units were deployed to the city for added security. Austria’s Interior Ministry has issued a high alert and asked its citizens not to step out of their homes. Also, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said raids were carried out at 15 locations in Vienna where several suspects were taken into custody.
After the Monday attacks, Austria announced mourning for three days as intense reactions emerged from across the globe. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has affirmed the Vienna attacks were perpetrated by extremists, calling it a struggle between civilization and barbarism. French President Emmanuel Macron said,’ After France, another friendly country has been attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will not give up. Europe will not bow down to terrorism,’ as he issued a stern warning.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated the European nations would unite against terrorism as she said that ‘Extremist terrorism is a common enemy. The fight against terrorists and the ones instigating them is Europe’s united fight’. Even as Europe’s leading nations – the UK, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic and the Netherlands denounced the terror attacks in Austria, they called on all European governments to work together against terrorism. Powerful nations such as the US, Russia, India and Canada have also condemned the attacks.
In the past six years, the intensity of terrorist attacks in Europe has risen. Refugee influx from Middle Eastern and African nations is being claimed as the primary reason responsible for it. Besides, journalists and analysts have criticised that Europe had assumed an incredibly soft approach towards the issue and turned a blind eye towards its security in the initial phase. However, since it resulted in terrorist attacks, European nations have begun making bold decisions. The reaction that emerged over the terrorist attacks in France and Austria only corroborate it. Therefore, in future, policies against terrorism and crackdown against it in Europe would likely be dealt with more rigorously.