This isn’t the first Islamic terrorist attack to strike Vienna and it won’t be the last.
While information is still being put together, the current toll stands at 4 dead and 17 wounded. The attacker had a rifle and a fake bomb belt, a common feature of ISIS-inspired attacks in Europe, and he appears to be an ISIS supporter.
The terrorist has been shot and killed.
The Islamic killer was allegedly a 20-year-old Albanian immigrant from North Macedonia.
While the attack happened in the vicinity of the hub of the Vienna Jewish community, the synagogue was closed at the time and it’s unclear if the Islamic terrorist had been targeting it. It certainly would not be the first time as one of the worst Islamic terror attacks in Vienna by the PLO had targeted a Bar Mitzvah, and there was a more recent attack on a synagogue.
At this stage we don’t know, but this was the scene.
Community rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister saw how one of the assassins suddenly started shooting at people. The guests fled to the bars in a panic. The attackers followed them. There were also numerous shots inside, says Hofmeister. The rabbi had alerted the police, but they had “never come”, as he told the program “Zeit im Bild” on ORF.
When the security forces arrived, they positioned themselves in the doorways. The officers called for the injured. “I heard shouts from the bars: ‘Yes, there are two injured people here! And there is one here too,’” Hofmeister said.
In a bar on Bognergasse, the guests were still sitting outside. “It was the last evening when everyone wanted to have a nice evening before they don’t see each other anymore,” says boss Peter Friese. Then everything went very quickly. Before he could even react, the customers ran into the bar. “Panic broke out. Suddenly the tables flew, everyone ran in, into the toilets, into the cellar.”
The victims: a dead passer-by at the meat market, a waitress at a popular pub on duty at Ruprechtsplatz, the third dead passer-by was found at Franz-Josefs-Kai, a woman died afterwards in the Ottakringer Spital. There are also 17 injured, seven of them seriously. The police counted a total of six crime scenes in the city center.
Unfortunately this is just another day in Europe.