European Jewish Association

Nehammer: Synagoge perpetrator with Islamist motives arrested, around the clock protection for synagogues and Jewish institutions

During a press conference in Vienna on the 24th of August 2020, Karl Nehammer, Minister of the Interior, Karoline Edtstadler, Minister for the EU and Constitutional Affairs, Susanne Raab, Minister for Women and Integration, and Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community in Vienna, as well as Elie Rosen, President of the Jewish Community Graz, commented on last week’s attacks on a Synagogue and a LGBT rights advocacy center in Graz.

“Last week’s incidents in Graz are shocking and not acceptable. It is not solely a matter of  criminal law with property damage and attempted personal injury, but first and foremost an absolutely unacceptable attack on fundamental rights and freedoms.  It was an attack on the freedom of religion and the diversity of lifestyles in our society”, the Minister of Interior said. “In Austria, there is no place for Antisemitism!”  Nehammer stressed that it was of importance to act quickly. “Yesterday evening, after comprehensive investigations led by the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism and the Styrian police, the offender could quickly be arrested. The offender is a 31 years old Syrian citizen, who lives and holds a refugee status in Austria since the year 2013. I want to thank all the police officers who were involved in the arrest for their efforts.” The Minister added that according to the current investigations the attacks were due to Islamist motives. The man was questioned until early morning and admitted the crimes. “Corresponding evidence was found and secured In the perpetrator’s flat.”

Uniformed and civil police officers protect all Jewish institutions in Austria

“Austria stands for freedom as well as a diverse society and is aware of its historic responsibility”, the Minister of Interior stressed. “The security of the Jewish community in Austria is especially important to us. Our police work in close collaboration with the security staff of the Jewish community to ensure their safety. I have in the meantime ordered further measures so that synagogues and other Jewish institutions will be protected by uniformed and civil police officers around the clock in the coming weeks.” Nehammer stressed that it is our joint concern that Jewish people can live in peace and security in Austria: “The Austrian Government will do everything in order to guarantee the safety of our Jewish citizens.”