Written by Prakriti Panwar, grade 11 student
On 2nd November 2020, a “repulsive terrorist attack” took place in Vienna, Austria. At least five people were killed, and many were injured. According to sources, the shots were recorded from six different locations near the central synagogue (A Jewish/Samaritan house of worship). The incident took place just a few hours before the enforcement of the nationwide lockdown.
Initially, there was some confusion about the exact number of attackers, but after a two-day investigation, the police found out that the attacker was alone.
Videos recorded by people in and around the area went viral, and also provided first-hand evidence. In quite a few videos, a gunman was spotted shouting and screaming around the cobbled street. Though not clear, the location seemed to be just outside a bar. Another video depicted a man in ‘civilian clothes’ coming out of a bar/restaurant and then firing twice on the street.
The gunman was shot dead in the attack. He had recently been out of jail, after serving a jail sentence for ‘trying to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic state.’
The attacker had posted a picture of himself with an AK-47, a machete, and a bayat (an oath of allegiance to the current leader of ISIS, a militant Islamist group) on social media, before the attack. He was also wearing a fake bomb vest at the scene.
Though ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities are trying to find out whether it simply inspired the attack, or actually directed it.
As anti-terrorist measures, an operation was enforced, and the police set up roadblocks all around the city centre. The Czech Republic and Germany too, ‘stepped up checks at their borders.’
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