Kujtim Fejzulai, a suspected Vienna gunman, reportedly posted a picture with a weapons arsenal on social media prior to the deadly Monday evening attacks.
In a posted to Instagram, Fejzulai posed holding an AK-47 and a machete while pledging allegiance to the Daesh* terrorist group and its newly announced leader, the Mirror newspaper reported.
An alleged picture of Fejzulai was reposted on Twitter.
Kujtim Fejzulai posted a photo on his Instagram account before the attack that showed him with two of the weapons he apparently used, according to Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer.#ViennaTerrorAttack pic.twitter.com/cayvryYGDU— Tom Quiggin (@TomTSEC) November 3, 2020
The Austrian Interior Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Fejzulai, who holds dual citizenship in North Macedonia and Austria, has a criminal record for terrorism. He was sentenced to almost two years in prison in April 2019 for attempting to join Daesh in Syria, but was released just 8 months later.
While Fejzulai's identity was known to Austrian intelligence, they did not perceive him as a threat as he reportedly took a "deradicalisation" programme while in prison.
So far, three persons are believed to be Vienna attack suspects, including Fejzulai, who was shot by police on the day of the rampage, and two others of North Macedonian citizenship. Other suspects, according to Austrian media, are natives of Kosovo, Russia’s Chechnya, and Bangladesh.
On Monday evening, the Austrian capital was subject to a terrorist attack. The shooting took place near a synagogue, and an anti-Semitic motive, while unconfirmed, was thought possible, the authorities said. Fejzulai was neutralised by police 9 minutes into the attack.
Several world leaders have reacted to the tragic terror shooting, including EU top officials, the presidents of Russia, Turkey, France, the United States, European states and others.
Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values.— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) November 2, 2020
My thoughts are with the victims and the people of #Vienna in the wake of tonight’s horrific attack.
We stand with Austria @sebastiankurz
Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe. These evil attacks against innocent people must stop. The U.S. stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2020
Shocked by the horrific attacks in #Vienna. I have conveyed to @sebastiankurz our full solidarity. Our thoughts are with the people in Vienna and the authorities dealing with the situation. Our hearts, with the victims and their loved ones.— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) November 2, 2020
Europe stands united against terror.
I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Vienna tonight, one of them close to a synagogue. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. We must all stand united against attacks on our open society.— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) November 2, 2020
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz indicated that the attack does not reflect any conflict between Christians and Muslims, or between Austrians and immigrants, rather it is a "struggle between the many who believe in peace, and the few who seek war, a struggle between civilization and barbarism". He also pledged to defend, together with other European states, their open societies and democratic values.
Aber es muss uns stets bewusst sein, dass dies keine Auseinandersetzung zwischen Christen und Muslimen oder zwischen Österreichern und Migranten ist. Dies ist ein Kampf zwischen den vielen Menschen, die an den Frieden glauben, und jenen wenigen, die sich den Krieg wünschen.— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 3, 2020
The North Macedonian authorities will assist in the investigation, Kurz said.
French President Emmanuel Macron sided with the Austrian leader in the battle against radicalism. On Tuesday, he travelled to Vienna to pay homage to the victims of Monday attack.
"We French share the shock and grief of the Austrian people struck this evening by an attack in the heart of their capital, Vienna. After France, a friendly country is attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will not give up", Macron posted on Twitter.
Thank you very much for your kind words of solidarity and support! This means a lot to us in these difficult times. #Austria will not be intimitated by such horrific acts of terror. Together we will defend our open societies and democratic values.— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 3, 2020
The Vienna shooting rampage comes in the wake of recent terror attacks that shook France following the beheading of a French teacher by an Islamist in mid-October. Nice saw a deadly attack on 29 October, when a 21-year-old Tunisian man killed three people with a knife in the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice. A day after, 52-year-old Greek Orthodox priest, Nikolaos Kakavelaki, was shot and injured in the city's 7th district near a Greek church in Lyon, he is still in serious condition at a hospital.
Following the attacks, which have all been designated as acts of terror by the French government, Macron pledged to counter religiously-motivated violence in the country and defend the secular values of the European Union.
Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other states