Austrian prosecutors eye 21 suspects

Albert Otti
·1-min read

The list of people suspected of being accomplices of a jihadist gunman who carried out a deadly attack in Vienna has grown to 21, prosecution spokeswoman Nina Bussek says.

The suspects, aged between 16 and 28, did not directly take part in the shooting spree in which five people including the attacker died last week, leading police investigator Michael Lohnegger told a press conference in Vienna.

Ten of the suspects have been been placed in custody.

"They are essentially suspected of having contributed to the crime before the terrorist attack, and of being members of a terrorist group and a criminal organisation," Bussek said.

On November 2, Kujtim Fejzulai shot four people dead and injured more than 20 in central Vienna before he was killed by police.

The attacker, who held Austrian and North Macedonian passports, used a Serbian assault rifle, a Soviet-type handgun as well as ammunition that was made in Serbia and China, Lohnegger said.

However, Lohnegger said police are still investigating how the weapons reached Austria.

Austrian investigators are under pressure over revelations that the police intelligence agency had observed a meeting between Fejzulai and Islamists from Germany and Switzerland in July in Vienna.

In addition, they had been tipped off by Slovakia that Fejzulai tried to buy ammunition there in July.

Fejzulai was out on parole from a prison sentence that was handed down because he tried to join Islamic State extremists in Syria.